Friday, February 24, 2017

Runfessing about NYC Running...What should I do?

If you want Winter to go by fast, sign up for a Spring race that you are either very nervous about or completely unprepared for.  That's a sure fire way to make sure those weeks go by at lightening speed.

As you may know, I am officially registered for two Spring races. One I am super excited about and one I am extremely nervous about.

I'm Runfessing today about the one I'm nervous about,.......The NYC Half



1. You may ask, Why in the world am I nervous about running a half marathon when I've already ran two FULL marathons?  Truth is, I'm not sure. 13.1 miles is 13.1 miles no matter where it is, right?  I think I'm nervous about the hills in central park, the crowds, and all the commotions (which also makes NO sense because I've run crowded Disney races and ran through the commotion that was Rock n Roll Las Vegas), So yea, none of the concerns are really valid, except that's how I feel.

2. I'm also worried about how to dress. The weather seems to be consistently changing on that day. It went from 49 and sunny to 55 and chance of rain. I'm sure it will change a few more times until then too. What do I wear?  Do I wear a windbreaker?

3. Speaking of dressing, do I wear sunglasses? I've never worn sunglasses during a long distance race because they start so early in the morning while it's still dark. I usually wear a visor. I know I don't want to wear a visor for this race because I don't want a chance of it blowing off while running over the bridge. Also, it might be nice to have the glasses covering my eyes if it is that windy.

4. Should I carry a water bottle?  I don't drink a lot of water on a long run anyway but the thought of not having it when and if I need it worries me. I have a small bottle I can wear in my belt, that might work.

5. I runfess that I was really worried about this training cycle. Training for a March race could have been a disaster weather wise but to tell you the truth, I've had near perfect running weather. With mild temps in January and temps in the 60's and 70's in February, I couldn't have asked for a better year to train for NYC!

Have you run this race before? If so, what advice do you have for me? -M




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This Seasons Beauty Box


I've been subscribing to the Walmart Beauty Box now for over a year, maybe even two.  It is true that I've tried out many subscription boxes and even mentioned a few of them here on the blog, but it is also true that I have not continued to subscribe to any of them.  This Beauty Box is the only subscription service I have continued because I do think it is a good value and I like the fun surprises.

 If you want to learn  more about the box and check out my detailed review of the very first box I received you can check out THIS POST. I just re-read it and oh my how my outlook has changed since then...lol

Before I continue, I will mention that I pay for these boxes on my own. I was not asked to review the boxes and I am not getting compensated to do so.


I will fully admit that as much as I like the service, I was thinking of cancelling my subscription for 2017 because in 2016 I ended up receiving some of the same items in multiple boxes.  At the end of the year, I had so many duplicate products that I was able to create a new Beauty Box (doubled in size) to share with my sister.  Each box contained new products too, but often there were duplicates.


My Winter box arrived in the mail before I had the chance to cancel my subscription for the year, but that's okay. This box actually changed my mind.  Right before Christmas I made a decision that I wanted to concentrate more on skin care.  I realize this is a decision I should have made when I turned 30, but I didn't. I didn't know anything about wrinkle cream, dark spots, or anti-aging anything.  Now, I'm all about that.


I have discovered some really great products from Loreal, Ponds, Olay, and Aveeno (among other brands) because of this box.  I now know what I want to look for when I go to CVS.   This particular box wasn't filled with as many samples or coupons as past boxes (which I hope is not a continued trend for 2017), but they do often contain some nice coupons for the skin care items. I didn't realize how stinking expensive some of those creams and serums are and now look forward to receiving the coupons in the box! That alone is worth the cost of the subscription.


My previous boxes contained a lot of "paper" samples. You know the ones that are on the paper and you can get one (or maybe two) uses out of it.  I usually just kept these in the box and only pulled out the "real" samples, the travel sized products that came in actual containers or tubes.  I've since realized that I was missing out on a ton of products so I've since pulled out all the "paper" samples and put them in a box on my bathroom counter. I try a new one each night before bed. My favorite right now is the Loreal Revitalife Miracle Blur Cream which is upside down in the picture below. I actually got 3 or 4 uses out of that one. I wish I would have tried it sooner because now the coupon that went with it has expired. *Edit: I have since found this item on Sale at CVS and bought a full size tube.

The Beauty Box is a seasonal subscription so it does not come every month. I wan't to say that it comes for  Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall, but if  I remember correctly I want to say that I actually got 5 boxes in a year. I think I got a Winter box back before the holidays and then a Winter box in January. I'm not sure how that works but I think they slip an extra box in there somewhere.

So tell me, what is your best "anti- aging" beauty product? -M

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Funny Little Story about What I Found on a Run





Last year for my sister's birthday, I purchased her a pair of C9 Convertible gloves from Target.
I thought they were pretty nice and I considered purchasing a pair for myself but I didn't. I stuck to the plan and only bought stuff for her during that trip.

I really like that these are warm, yet you can remove the top to expose fingers so you can manipulate your electronics. I have a few pair of the touch screen gloves, but they don't always work.

I gave my sister the gloves for her birthday and I assumed she like them.  About a week later, Scott and I were down at the island park for a run. As we were leaving, I noticed a brand new pair of the grey C9 gloves laying on the ground.  They were clipped together so it was if they had fallen out of someone's pocket.

I knew my sister had gone for a run earlier that day and thought perhaps she had ran this same route and lost her gloves. I quickly picked them up and was so proud of myself that I found them for her!


I called her on my way home to tell her but she didn't answer.  Finally, later on that day I got a hold of her and I told her about the gloves. She informed me that she had her gloves right there at home with her.  Oh NO! That means I had taken somebody else's gloves!

Okay, I debated for a while on what to do. I actually did feel really guilty for taking them when I knew they belonged to someone else.  Should I drive them back to the area where I found them? It's not like they were sitting on a park bench or anything, they were on the road.  Would someone actually come back for them?  If  someone knew they were missing, would they know right where to look?   If I DID put them back, would someone else pick them up anyway?

In the end, my laziness won out and I never took them back to the park. I threw them in the wash and I've worn them a few times when the weather was chilly.  They are soft, they are warm, and I love them.  Do you judge me?

Have you ever found anything on a run that ended being useful to you? -M

We will be linking up with the gals from Tuesday's on the Run

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekly Wrap....Feb 19

                                            Hosted by Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin

Welcome to another edition of the Weekly Wrap.  I feel this week was pretty productive as far as getting out there and getting some miles in. I know that my mileage is no where near impressive as I only do a little bit during the week and then TRY to do a longer run on the weekends, but that's what works for me and my lifestyle.It's all about balance!

I don't remember what I did on Sunday so I'll just start on Monday.

Monday- Gym day

Tuesday- My Valentines Run of 4 Miles

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday- Run 3 Miles and Bike 3 Miles

Friday -Gym Day and 3 Miles with a friend (We saw 6 deer on the path)!



Saturday- 13.1 mile run.

The weather on this run was gorgeous but the run itself did not seem easy. I ran the same route I did last weekend for the first 10 miles and even though the route was the same, my pace was drastically slower. Perhaps it had something to do with how hot it was and that I was a tad overdressed. When I finished I was completely exhausted and felt extremely accomplished. I treated my self to a Starbucks Peach Green Tea and a Lavender Mineral Soak (that I received in one of my previous Beauty Boxes).

I thought my quads would be killing me from all the hill work I've been doing but they didn't hurt at all. I did however have a bit of soreness in my calves, knees, and toes.  I spent a lot of time in my calf/foot massager afterwards.


This week was a cool mail week as I got lots of goodies. For some reason, the UPS guy has decided that he will no longer drop things on my porch without a signature which can be very annoying. I actually had to put a sign on my front door telling him to leave the stuff on the front porch!  (Maybe it's a new guy/gal).



1. All the shoes I bought from Amazon. The blue ones in front are the only ones I am keeping, although after having worn them around on Friday I should probably change my mind on that.

2. The Fierce VoxBox that I received compliments of Influenster. This was a weird combination of items in this particular VoxBox, although I am sure they will all be useful.

In this month's box

-SheaMoisture Argan Oil  & Almond Milk Shampoo
-SheMoisture Argan Oil & Almond Milk Blow Out Creme (to tame unruly frizzy fly-aways)
-Sinful Colors nail polish
-Madam C.J. Walker Softening & Silkening Brassica Seed Oil  (a light weight hair oil that provide shine for heat styled hair)
-Vaseline Jelly
-Carefree Active Fresh

3. I also purchased some new nail color, top coat/base coat, and remover from Sensationail.

And that's a wrap for this week. How's your mileage? Any cool mail this week? -M


Friday, February 17, 2017

Winter Rants

This week's Friday 5 is about Winter Running rants. I have no rants about running as mine's been going just fine. However, I'll share about some things I've been irritated with this winter.



1. Although the weather is back up to where it should be, we did have a few colder days this month that put me on the hunt for some winter sweaters. I could not find any. Instead I found lightweight spring sweaters (I mean real thin) and those cold shoulder tops. I know retailers are always thinking a season ahead, but why can't we still have cozy winter tops in February?

To add on to this, I can barely find anymore fleece lined leggings. No matter what the weather, I love me some fleece leggings.


My favorite shirt. I got it for Christmas a few years ago.

2. Another winter rant is about a commercial. Over the summer my husband showed me the trailer to "A Dog's Purpose".  Tears flowed and I told him I would NOT be going to see that movie.  Well, this winter I now have been seeing the commercial on TV. I have to fast forward it each time it comes on because I can't allow myself to watch it. If I'm at "Live TV", then I just have to pause it for a few seconds until I can fast forward through it. I've heard people say that it was a happy movie, but if there's dogs and there is death, there is no way I'm watching that.

3. Speaking of commercials,  my favorite radio station does a commercial for "Blue apron" almost every day. The Blue Apron meals were mostly good, but the announcers mentions how quick and easy the recipes are to make. I chuckle to myself each time and say "yea right"  when I hear this commercial because Blue Apron was NOT a quick way to make a meal! If you don't remember my Blue Apron post, you can read it HERE.

4. I've been on Pinterest lately  and it seems like every time I get on I see a pin about "If your dog does these 10 things, he might have cancer". NO, NO, and NO. I will NOT be tempted to open that pin and read that article.  I know me and if I even remotely think that my dog does any of those things I'll be flipping out. Is there a way to block certain pins? I don't want to see it any more.



5. My last rant of course is about shoes. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect pair. I ordered 3 pair from Amazon last week and two will be going back. The third pair doesn't fit perfectly and I may not have bought them had I tried them on at the store but I doubt they will hurt my feet so I'm not going through the hassle to return those too. I tried to find shoes at the store but I just can't find a style that I like. What is up with open toe boots? They make no sense yet I see them every where!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Searching for Love on the Run

I don't know about you, but after all the Valentines day treats yesterday I was in need of a run!

I bought a 25 pack of Sour Patch Kid Valentines for my kids at school and after giving one pack to Scott, and only 17 for the kids, guess who ate the rest? Yup, I ate them all at lunch time. BUT in my defense, those packs only hold like 4 or 5, right?

Our secretaries also put out a beautiful valentines spread. It was lovely with chocolates, and cookies, cupcakes, mini red velvet whoopie pies, and so many red and pink goodies. I succumbed to a strawberry and a sweet treat, so yea, I needed that run.


My Valentines day shirt may say "Love 2 Run" but I certainly wasn't feeling it at first.   Before I got to the park, my goal was to run 5 miles. Once I started the first uncomfortable mile, I settled on only getting 3 in.

When I first got to the park, I saw the K-9 search unit vehicles there. I first saw them at the park a few weeks ago and they had the dogs out. I was a bit concerned and wondered if I should be running on the trail or if I would be disturbing the dogs as they worked. Turns out the dogs were just training. Thank goodness no one was lost!  This time When I saw them all out, I asked if they were training as I ran by, and they were.  I met a search and rescue retriever named Honey! There were actually a lot of dogs at the park that day in addition to all the search and rescue dogs.

Okay, getting back to the run...... I did a lot of inclines running up and down the bridge. I figured that would half make-up for the low mileage.  By the time I hit my goal of 3 miles, I was still on the bridge so since I was feeling better by now, I figured I 'd just run it on out until I did 4 miles. No sense in stopping at 3 and then having to walk back to my car!

Do you ever bargain with yourself on mileage while on a run? -M





Monday, February 13, 2017

Running and Loving my Fleece

I got some really cool things this winter for winter running and I've just recently tried them out.


You may have remembered me saying that Scott bought me two pairs of fleece lined running tights for Christmas. Well, I absolutely love them. I was so eager to try them out back in December, but when it's 49 degrees, you certainly don't need to be running in fleece running tights! ( I wore them for a few runs in the 40's and was way over dressed). With that being said, I didn't get to wear them again until this month!

The tights are the fleece insulated arctic barrier athletic tights by RBX Active. I got a pair in black and a pair in grey. I'll be honest with you, they are a much lighter weight fabric than my regular non fleece lined running tights so I was skeptical on how warm they would be. When I would wear them outside on a cold day, I was still cold.  It's not until I get running that they kept me warm.  Most running tights seem to be a bit long on me, but I like that these have a zipper on the ankles because wearing them unzipped a little allows them to be the perfect length.

Most recently I came across a fleece lined top of the same brand (which I found on sale).  Looking back, I wish I would have bought two ( in different colors), But seeing as though most of my runs take place in the afternoons, I barely have the opportunity to run when it is in the low 30's (which is when I would be needing the fleece lined top and tights).  So I only went with the one top.

The day I saw the deer at the park was my coldest run all season and my Garmin recorded the temps between 27-32 degrees. I only had on the fleece lined plants, and the fleece lined top (no shirt underneath), and I was completely warm enough.


And speaking of cozy items, remember when I wrote the post about Running through a Horror Film? It was about 60 degrees during that run but it started to rain. I happened to have a pair of my RunLite gloves with me and I used one to light the path since it got dark and I used the other one to protect my phone against the rain.  I did not write that post to showcase any products, but it just goes to show that you never know who's reading your blog because the day after I posted that, I was contacted by an agency to see if I would try out the RunLite Mittens.

I happily said yes, because I think the mittens are a fabulous idea. I've had the RunLite gloves for some time now but thought that by not having the fingertips covered was a flaw in the design.  When I used them before, I would have to wear my knit gloves underneath the RunLites just so my fingers would stay warm. Not anymore. Now, I can have warm fingers AND Light. The picture on the right shows the liners for the mittens. The lights slip right on top of the mittens.



We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weekly Wrap...Feb 12

I'm glad that I have the weekly wrap to document my week because by the time Friday comes around I rarely remember what happened on Monday.


Sunday: I continued my "Bridge Run" on the iFit treadmill program. I finished the Golden Gate bridge (which I didn't realize was so steep. It had me at a incline of 10, which is the highest one on my TM.) After that I also ran the Brooklyn Bridge.

Monday: I had a meeting after work and then a dentist appointment. It was beautiful out so I was bummed that I wasn't able to get outside for a run.

Tuesday: I did more of the Bridge work out but this time I biked it. I did the Akashi Kaiko bridge (Japan) and the Sydney Harbor bridge (Australia). These rides were tough!


Wednesday: I had an awesome day on Wednesday!  I've been stuck in my 6 mile rut because honestly that's all the more I could usually fit in before it got dark. This day I got 7 miles in!!! The first mile was so tough and my calf was SO tight that I thought I was going to have to walk back to my car. As I kept going I felt better. By the time I was done, I felt awesome and could have probably tackled another mile or two. As I was running by, I saw one of my friends at the gym so decided to head in after my 7 miles.


Thursday: After yesterday's Spring like run, today we had a snow day. We've had delays earlier this year due to ice and sleet but this was our first "official" snow day. Even though I'm looking forward to spring, it IS always fun to have a snow day. I would kind of be sad if we went all winter and didn't have the excitement of looking forward to one. It makes me not feel so bad about accomplishing NOTHING all day long.  It's funny though because as I watch the news, they are interviewing people about the snow. It's like HELLO, it's not unusual for us to get snow, yet people act like it's an anomaly. (They'll do the same thing this summer when its 90 degrees!)

Friday: Gym day

Saturday: I had another awesome run. The sun was out in full force so I set out to do 10 miles on the trail, but after seeing some slushy spots decided to deviate to the neighborhood. I ran a LOT of hills. This was a great challenge for me and I'm glad I did it.  This was my highest mileage since the Wine n Dine Half marathon at Disney back in November.  I actually wasn't as sore afterwards as I thought I would be.

I also received all the shoes I ordered last week so hopefully I'll be able to share a little bit about those later.


Have a great week folks! -M



We will be linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.

Friday, February 10, 2017

This is Love!

Happy Friday Folks. Today's theme for the Friday 5 is Love.


Labrador Valentine

I can't write a post about Love and not mention my sweet girl who just oozes love out of every yellow hair on her fluffy body.

I thought I'd write about some of her idiosyncrasies and see if your pets do the same thing. If you don't have pets, then you can just tell me how adorable Baylee is...lol.


1. Any time I turn the water on in the shower, she comes busting into my bathroom like she owns the place. It doesn't even matter if she is sleeping down stairs, she hears that water and she is right there. She will adjust herself (she fights with the bathroom rug) on the floor and tries to put her nose in the shower. I keep promising her a bath soon, but I want to wait till it gets a little warmer out.


2. Every morning, 15 minutes before my alarm goes off, Baylee gets off her bed and jumps on to mine.  She makes her way up near me and lays her head on my pillow with me. This makes it SO HARD to want to get up when the alarm finally does go off.



3. She has HER SPOT on the couch. She's like Sheldon.


4. The minute I pull my Yoga Mat out to do stretches (yea, I don't really do yoga but I do stretch on the mat to prevent dog hair from sticking to my exercise pants), she has to be right ON the mat. Not a workout or stretch session goes by with out her participating in it.


5. She LOVES the camera. Really. Anytime I get the camera out, she poses. This makes it easy when I want to take pictures of her wearing costumes or doing something cute. It can be embarrassing though. One time we were walking along the beach (it was in the off season so there were very few people there besides us), and a family came walking by. The mom posed her children in front of the water and pulled out her camera. Baylee saw the camera and ran over and sat beside the children!  They all thought it was funny. I guess I have her trained well!   -M







Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Shamrock Marathon Training

 I am currently training for the Shamrock marathon and I do not feel like my training has been where it should be. A few weeks ago I was feeling good and did a random 13 miles. The follow week I did 12 and started to get this pain on the top of my ankle. I knew that was a sign to take some time off. As hard as it was, I took a few days off and then gradually started upping my mileage again. I knew I was due for another long run, but I wasn’t sure how it’d go since I haven’t been running.
A quote that I saw on my run. It was from the J &A racing/training team

 In addition to my pesky ankle, I have been taking on extra classes at the gym. After I am done teaching my classes in the morning, I usually have to head to my other job later in the afternoon, so needless to say my longer runs have been non-existent lately.

 On days I do not work after my classes, my excuse is that I am tired. I may not be running, but I am still doing something. Good cross training, I’d like to think of it as. 

Well the other day, I had no classes at the gym, nor a shift at my other job. Today is the day I thought to set out to do my long run. Not sure how far I’d go.  I was hoping to do more than 13 since that has been my last long run in this training cycle. In my mind I was thinking somewhere between 15-16 miles. But since I have not done any long runs since my ankle started acting up we would see how it goes.  

I woke up that morning and of course it was freezing out. Not even in the 30's. That is very rare for Virginia Beach, even in February. I thought about forgoing my run and just heading to the gym instead, but I knew if I did that, I would not go as long as I wanted to go on the treadmill. Also there are too many distractions at the gym when you need to get a long run in. So I downloaded some new podcasts and bundled up. 
When I first started running, I didn’t think it was too bad out. Like I said I was bundled up and that helped a lot, even though it was windy, the sun was out at least. 

Another quote I saw on my run.

 I was planning on doing my route I usually do throughout the state park near by where I live. I arrived at the entrance on the other side of the park where I usually turn around, but was feeling good so I continued out of the park towards the oceanfront and onto the boardwalk. It was very busy at the boardwalk on that day which I thought was odd, because it was so cold out.

 I found out that was the day that the polar plunge was taken place. Brrrrrr! No thank you! I never understood that. I guess it is for a good cause, but I would not be doing that when it was only 30 degrees out.  Between the many people I started to weave through, and the wind that was not letting up, I quickly turned around and headed back towards the park. 

I ended up with 17 miles and felt great the whole time! My ankle did not hurt once. I came home soaked in an Epsom salt bath and made an appointment at a foot spa. It was heavenly. I went to dinner and thought I would splurge a little so I ordered shrimp and grits. After all, I did run 17 miles today. After dinner I came home poured a glass of wine and read my book until I went to bed.  

That night, I slept for 10 blissful hours. I woke up and wasn’t as sore as I thought I would be after my long run the day before, so I wanted to do another run on tired legs to see how it went. I completed 7 miles and felt great. I even kept a decent pace up throughout my run. Its runs like these that make me excited to continue to keep training for my marathon.  

Do you find yourself splurging on foods after completing a long run? 
After completing long runs, do you ever test out your legs the following day with another run, or do you use that as a recovery day?  -L

Monday, February 6, 2017

What I'm capturing on a run!


I've always got into the habit of logging each and every run (outside runs not treadmill ones), and if it's a memorable one like the few I've had over the years, I'll share about it on the blog. I've been told I'm a good story teller so I do hope you enjoy reading about those "memorable runs".

One thing I haven't done was the whole picture thing. I was never a huge fan of the taking of the selfies after each run and then posting to social media.  It's like "3 miles done"  take a selfie, post it!   "5 miles done", take a selfie, post it!   It's almost as if these selfie posters think that if they don't post proof that they ran, then it didn't really happen.



BUT NOW I finally get it. Maybe it's not about the "selfie" or the "instant sharing" or the "self gratification" that one might be seeking if others comment on their post.  MAYBE it's about keeping a record and making memories.

I admit that although I'm not a constant "selfie poster", I have been sharing some lately. I do mix it up with some scenery and sky pics during my runs too. I feel like I do this because I want to remember and look back. I feel like every run is a memory to be made whether or not it was a "memorable" one or not.

A gorgeous fall run. No filter

For example, this is a pic I posted on IG this fall. I don't remember one thing about the actual run, but I do remember how gorgeous the weather and the sky were for a fall morning and how great I felt. So now in my mind, I will remember this as a good run.

I don't always run with my phone but I've been bringing it more often so I can capture scenes like the one above or like the one I posted last week about seeing 6 deer right on my path.  What do you like to capture on your run? Or are you more of a "get it over with, no time for pictures" runner?  I admit that I do get like that sometimes too. -M


We are linking up with the gals from TOTR

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Weekly Wrap...I need shoes.

This week has literally been all about finding shoes. Not, running shoes, but just ordinary dress shoes for work.

At one point, I know that I've had over 100 pairs of shoes. I had a collection that would rival Carrie Bradshaws! And when it came to heels, I was not intimidated. I could wear the high ones.

But when I started running long distances, things changed.  I was wearing a lot of ballet flats ( which along with the zero drop running shoes may have contributed to my long time injury). During the years I was marathon training, I only rotated between 2 pairs of dress shoes (Anne Klein Sport) and a pair of boots. (The rest sat on the shelf and collect dust for 2 years). I did make a mistake and pull out a pair of dress shoes last spring and that made my sesomoiditis flare up so they promptly went to Good Will and I've learned my lesson. I refused to wear any shoe that was slightly uncomfortable in any way.

At the end of last year, after all my long distance races were completed, I decided to pull out a few pairs of those shoes that I haven't worn in a while. Guess what? Every pair was too small.  All of my shoes (except my running shoes) are a size 6.  For some reason I can no longer wear a size 6. I know that running makes your feet swell but can it permanently make you go up in size? I've heard of this thing happening to women after they have children.  Perhaps it's just a sign of aging.

So with that being said, (with the exception of my running shoes and the 2 pair of dress shoes) I am on a mission to start  my shoe collection all over again.  My favorite shoe brands are Anne Klein and A2 by Aerosoles.  I feel these are still a bit stylish for my age yet they are super comfortable.  I currently have 3 pair on order so I'm hoping they'll be a good fit.

 I don't usually tell dreams because as I heard a comedian once say "Nobody cares about your dreams because they didn't really happen".  But I'm going to share this one because I thought it was funny AND because it was actually relevant in my life right now, Have you ever had those dreams where you think to yourself "Why in the world would I dream of that"?  Except I know exactly why I had this dream.

I was at the drive thru at J.C Penney (No, our JC Penney does not really have a drive thru), and I ordered a pair of the green and pink Mizuno Wave Riders.  The lady at the drive thru kept telling me that they didn't have those shoes. I kept telling her that I knew they did. I even said " I bought two pair of those shoes here before. I know you have those shoes so stop acting like you don't).

When I woke up from my dream I immediately knew why the lady at the drive thru didn't have those shoes. I was describing the Wave Enigma, not the Wave Rider....lol

So as you can see, the whole shoe thing has taken over my brain this week. -M


Thank you to Holly and Tricia for hosting the Weekly Wrap were we can all link up and share the highlights of our week.

Friday, February 3, 2017

How to use iFit for Treadmills and Bikes

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was using the iFit program with my Nordic Track Bike and Treadmill and I had quite a few people asking questions about it. Since this week's Friday 5 topic is "Workout Space" I thought it might be a good time to talk about the program a little more in depth.



This post may get a little lengthy but I want to give as much info as possible for anyone considering this program. I found very little info on it and even when I asked Nordic Track for a manual or user guide, they said they didn't have one. The customer service rep told me it was "Job Security".



                                                                 What is the iFit Program?



1. First off, you need to have a compatible device. Both my stationary bike and treadmill are from Nordic Track but there are other brands that are compatible too. Any Icon Fitness brand machine such as treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, stair climbers, etc. will have it. Compatible brands include: Nordic Track, ProForm, Reebok, and Health Rider. 



You need to determine if your machine is iFit Compatible or iFit Enabled.  If it is iFit compatible that means you have to purchase the iFit module (which is like a cassette) and you order it directly from Nordic Track. This is where you get the WiFi connection to use the Google Maps option.  If your machine is iFit enabled. It means that it has Wifi already built into it.  I did not know the difference between the two when my machines were purchased years ago but if you have a WiFi connection at your home, there would really be no need to spend the extra $ on a machine that already has it built in (unless of course you want to take your treadmill outside)!

If you're still not sure if your machine is compatible, check to see if  it has the Map button on it. Also, if your machine has a slot for a cassette at the top of it, it is iFit Compatible. 


2. Okay, Once you've figured out your compatibility status, you'll have to register online at iFit.com.  To be honest with you, I only registered for the program because I wanted the Google Maps option. I did not care about all the other personal coaching stuff.  You can not pick and choose which options you pay for though, it is not a la carte.  I bought a one year subscription and it cost me $119 (I did get a bit of a discount).

After registering, I received the iFit module (the cassette for the WiFi connection) and an iFit fitness tracker bracelet in the mail. ( You do NOT need the bracelets to use the treadmill, it's just something extra)

To connect the module to your Home WiFi, you will need a smart phone, ipad, or tablet.  It connects fairly easy and is self explanatory once you get to the iFit site.

                                                  Here comes the fun part!

3. You get to pick what kind of workout you want. There is a fitness library that you can pick from various workouts. There is a whole list of bike workouts including some famous bike races, there are running workouts, general fitness workouts, Jillian Michaels workouts, and Challenge workouts.


I did think there would be more iconic races listed like the Boston Marathon (which is listed), but there weren't. (The Runner's world races are listed) However, there were tons of fun routes.  Here are just a few that I'm excited to do.
-The land down under
-50 states parade
-Big City tour
-Bridge Tour
-Coastal Runs
-Ends of the Earth
-Famous 5k
-iconic Parks
-Marathon madness (run a marathon leg in 10 different city marathons)
-White Workouts (running through snow)

There are just SO many to choose from that it would take an entire post to write them all. 


I've found the bike and running workouts to be interchangeable. I can choose a Running Workout but actually bike that route and vice versa.


(The Golden Gate Bridge: a Scene from the Bridge Run)

4. Now, If you want to use it for the Google Maps option, you can view the maps on your machine's screen (if it has one), or connect it to your phone, ipad, table, or Smart TV.  I do have a screen on both my bike and treadmill, but I'd like a bit larger screen so I connect it to my ipad. Both the treadmill and bike have an ipad holder on them so it fits perfectly.

The great thing about using the iFit with Google maps is that you not only get to see the scenery, but the treadmill will automatically adjust the elevation according to what the real elevation of your route is. If you are on the bike, the tension will automatically change.

You see the 5 dots on the bottom of the bridge picture above? clicking on each of those allows you to get a different view. One is Map view, one shows progress on the map, etc.

5. If you do not want to run or bike any of the pre-set workouts, you have the option of creating your own. Just enter the location where you want to run (it could even be in your own neighborhood), and you click on a route point to point and it creates it for you.

I'm in no way an expert on this and in fact have had my frustrations with it this week because I'm not sure how to properly exit a workout I no longer want to do.  But I will say that the routes I have done so far have been awesome and it's just a really cool program to have. I can't wait to go through all the workouts to see all these amazing places! -M





Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My one and only Podcast was a flop

I'm always hearing about runners talking about their favorite podcast. Some have even made a top list of the best running ones.

I for one know that I can not run while listening to people speak. I've tried listening to the radio while I run before and every time the music stops (due to talking or commercials) I can tell I start to struggle.

However, this past summer I downloaded a book (short story rather), The Gingerbread Girl,  and I listened to it while I walked on the rail trail.  The story was only about 2 hours long and I walked more than 7 miles while listening to it. It was a blissful day on the trail!  That experience got me thinking that I'd love to download more short stories (preferably less than 2 hours) to listen to while I walk. Over Holiday break my sister showed me how to download some podcasts to my ipod. Why hadn't I done this before?

I found a podcast series on Fashion. I thought for sure that after listening to these that I would have some fresh new ideas to write about for my newspaper column.  I downloaded about 10 of them and was eager to get listening.

Now usually if I don't like something I'll just keep it to myself and move on. There's no need to spread negativity. However, I feel so passionate about how BAD this podcast is that I just had to get it off my chest share.  I don't want to be cruel enough to share the name of it but I do believe she records it from the Chicago area. The podcast is about 30 minutes long and half of the time she is talking about her Facebook group and how everybody needs to follow her rules before they join (she spends a LOT of time talking about this). She also talks about how she gives so much valuable advice for FREE so her facebook page is NOT a place to ask for advice...blah blah blah.  She then spends time trying to promote her jewelry line and how each piece is so unique, followed by promoting her personal styling service and how much of an amazing value it is!


With the remaining time left over, she whines talks about a a certain topic. One recent one I listened to was about Fashion week and how we need to just love it for what it is and stop trying to make it something it's not. Another recent cast was how women need to stop feeling guilty about spending money on themselves for clothing. I think the topic titles are good and make you think some good information will follow but the execution of is only sub-par to say the least (and I'm being nice here).

And the thing is, after the first couple of her podcasts I CONTINUED to listen to more because I assumed they just HAD to get better. They didn't.

This lady has such a whiny voice and she repeats the same thing over and over again during her podcast. I think her whole podcast could be wrapped up in maybe 2 or 3 sentences but she continues to drag it on. I really wanted to learn something, but I didn't.

So now this makes me wonder, what exactly does it take to make a podcast and can anybody do it? (I'm in no way considering doing a podcast, I'm just curious).

Even though my first pick of a podcast was disappointing, I'm not giving up on them quite yet.

Do you have any suggestions for me? Which ones should I stay away from? -M

PS: I'm pretty sure my ipod died this week. I was using the ipod Nano. I guess its time to look for a new one.  
Who still uses an ipod and who uses their phone?
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