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TRX Review

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On Monday night, I went to my first ever TRX class. I knew it was going to be challenging, but I had NO idea how hard it would actually turn out to be! I thought I was in pretty good shape, but 5 minutes into the class I wanted to quit it was so difficult.

TRX is all about using your bodyweight to perform various different types of exercises. It relies a lot on your core and you also need pretty good arm strength. I have a pretty strong core, but my arm strength is definitely a weakness of mine. So when the first move was to do pushups standing up with the TRX suspension trainer, I knew I was in trouble! I can’t even do a regular pushup without getting on my knees, so I had no idea how to even attempt this! I tried the best I could and the teacher helped me out, but I was definitely struggling lol. There was about 5 other people in the class, and I was the only newbie so I was pretty embarrassed!

The class lasted an hour, and as it went on, I start to feel more comfortable with what I was doing. We did a lot more arm exercises and some planks and then the class was over before I knew it! At the beginning of the class I absolutely hated it and really contemplated leaving, but as it progressed I actually started to like it! Especially at the end when we got to kind of hang with our feet from the straps and do some ab work, that was actually kind of fun!

At the end of the class, the others were very encouraging and told me it would get much easier as long as I kept coming. I definitely will continue to go, unfortunately next week I won’t be able to because I am on vacation in Colorado, but after that I will make it a part of my weekly workout routine.

I’m really happy I took this class because it showed me that it’s always a good idea to step outside your comfort zone. I know by taking TRX I am going to really improve my strength and that even though it might not be the easiest thing in the world for me, it will definitely be worth it. I am going to push myself with taking different types of classes so that I can continue to explore different types of classes. This Friday, I have the day off work because I work on Saturday, so I am going back to the gym for a spinning class which I have never done before! I will let you all know how that goes as well :)

And, you still have time to enter to win an Armpocket!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

Lauren

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Weekly Recap – Kathleen

Monday, July 14th: Rest day
Tuesday, July 15th: 30 minutes elliptical
Wednesday, July 16th: 4.5 miles running (10:31 pace)
Thursday, July 17th: Rest day
Friday, July 18th: 4 miles running (10:45 pace on treadmill)
Saturday, July 19th: Rest day
Sunday, July 20th: 6 miles running (10:38 pace)

Well, this week was super busy since I finally started my new job!! I’m so happy to report in the first week that I am beyond happy and grateful for this new opportunity!! I had to work on Saturday (I’m one of the people in charge of our outdoor pools and it was my “on call” weekend… thank goodness for beautiful weather so it was easy to visit the pools and no one called :)) but was done with everything by 3 pm. No more 2 am bed times :)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to my yoga class. I love the instructor but now I’m much further away… I am hoping that I may be able to make the 6 pm class this Tuesday. My muscles are missing it.

But since I work for a park district, I now have access to a great gym that is on my way home from work and has tons of equipment and classes to choose from. I’ll figure out how to get my yoga in there now in the future.

I also made the decision to run my next half at the end of August in Minnesota. I totally forgot that the earlier half– Minnesota Half– is on a Saturday. And since it would take me 6 hours to drive there, it’s not smart to drive after work on Friday to run in a half first thing on Saturday morning. Therefore, it was an easy decision to switch up my schedule for the next half to be at the end of August (the race is on Sunday—so I’ll be able to drive 4 hours easily on Saturday, go to the expo and get some good rest before the race). I’m considering bringing my dog with me too! She’s a very easy traveler (only 12 lb shih tzu) and she does fine being caged during the day. Possibilities!

And you still have a chance to win a free Armpocket armband! –

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

Kathleen

 

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Weekly Recap & Armpocket GIVEAWAY!

Quick Run-Down of My Week:

Monday, July 14th: Rest Day

Tuesday, July 15th: 2 miles running

Wednesday, July 16th: 1 mile running, Bootcamp class

Thursday, July 17th: 5 miles running

Friday, July 18th: Rest Day

Saturday, July 19th: 4 miles running

Sunday, July 20th: 6.22 miles running

Running wise, I did much better this week. I might not have had the longer runs that I am used to, but I made sure to at least get out there for 5 out of 7 days and get some sort of run in! My runs have been feeling really great too, almost all of them were below 9 minute/mile pace. So, slowly but surely I am getting back to where I was at pre-marathon. Which couldn’t come at a better time, because next month I am amping up my runs and starting to train for my second marathon- The Disney World Marathon in January. I can’t wait to have a more set running & exercise plan. Lately, I have gotten ready to go for a run and kind of just decided right before I get to the park on how far I think I should go. It’s been nice to be a little more laid back when it comes to my runs, but I really am a person that does better (with anything) when I have a concrete plan put in place.

Can't wait to try this out tonight!

Can’t wait to try this out tonight!

Tonight, I am really excited to start my first TRX fitness class. My bootcamp instructor told me about it last week because she also is the teacher for TRX, and she said that I should check it out because it can be helpful for building endurance for runners. I really didn’t know much about it before she told me, so when I got back from my bootcamp class I researched online a bit, and it looks like a really fun workout. Has anyone tried it before? If so, please give some tips in the comments section for this newbie! :)

Don't forget to enter the raffle for your chance to win your very own Armpocket!

Don’t forget to enter the raffle for your chance to win your very own Armpocket!

I hope everyone has an awesome week. And, don’t forget to sign up for the Armpocket Giveaway! The contest ends on Friday!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

 

Lauren

3

Armpocket Review and GIVEAWAY!

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Lauren’s Review: Aero i-10

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I have gone through countless armbands always trying to find the perfect one, and usually always end up disappointed in the one I choose. My biggest problem with most of the armbands I have tried is that because I have a pretty small arm, they are always slipping down during my runs. When you are running, the last thing you want to worry about is problems like that. And it really can screw up your whole run when you are constantly pulling up your armband! Another problem I often encounter with armbands is that they fall apart pretty quickly. I am constantly sweating pretty hard during my runs, and I have noticed that many of my armbands just wear down really quickly because of my sweat and constant use. They simply aren’t that durable most of the time.

Now, I run with the Nathan Sonic Boom Armband. I have had it since January, and it really has been the best armband I have owned. It rarely slips and it has proven to be very durable after all the runs I’ve put it through. So, because I am pretty content with my armband, I wasn’t looking around for a new one. When we got contacted by Armpocket to do a review of their product, I agreed but didn’t think I would end up using it that much because I really liked my armband. But I was wrong!

I chose the Armpocket Aero i-10 because it fit the phone that I have (iPhone 4S) and I liked the size and features of it. When I got it in the mail, I tried it the next day during my run and I was really impressed. For one, I didn’t have to take off my phone case – the phone fit in there very easily with the case still on. This is nice because with my other armband, I always have to take off the case and then I sometimes forget to put back on the case after my run (which caused the screen of my phone to shatter one day after I forgot to put my case on and dropped it later that day :( ). Thus, it is very convenient with this armband to be able to leave it on.

Another nice feature of the Armpocket Aero i-10 is there is a headphone outlet at the top and the bottom of the case, so when I FINALLY upgrade to the iPhone 5 one day, I will still be able to use this case. Additionally, even though the case is not overly large, there is enough room to put your keys in it, and any cards (ID, debit card, etc.) or gels you might want to take with you during the run. This is a nice feature because I usually put my key in my shoe and just hope that it doesn’t somehow come out during my run!

I ran with it the first time for just a few miles and pretty much found no faults with it, and I was very happy to find out that the Armpocket did not slip at all! One thing that was a little annoying was that it is kind of bulky. It is much thicker than the one I normally use (that one is super slim and my phone sometimes even has a hard time fitting in!), so it took a while to get used to. But now that I have ran with it several times, it’s really not that bad and doesn’t seem as bulky. I think the Armpocket Aero I-10 will be especially useful during the winter months, when I have more layers on and probably won’t notice the bulkiness at all. Another thing I didn’t love was that in order to change to volume, I have to unzip the Armpocket, adjust the volume, and then zip it back up. My other armband is more convenient for this because I can just click on the volume and not have to worry about zipping and unzipping. But if you just make sure the volume is right before you go on your run, then you won’t have this problem.

There were some issues I had with the Armpocket Aero I-10, but overall I really liked the product. I have used it for many runs and have found it to be very useful and convenient. My favorite feature is how much stuff I can fit into the Armpocket. So many running shorts/pants do not have pockets, so this product makes up for that. I would really recommend this armband to fellow runners, and now you are able to win one for yourself! Enter the Rafflecopter below, and like Armband on Facebook or follow on Twitter for your chance to win!

Kathleen’s Review: Armpocket i-25

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A few months ago, I received an amazing armband from a company called Armpocket.  I was given the opportunity to select which model I wanted and I chose the i-25 model.  It’s a little bulkier than some of the other models, but I wanted the bulkier model for keys, my iphone, occasional jelly beans, and other necessities.

Pros of this armband:

–Fits all my stuff

–Has slots for headphones

–Armband fits tightly but not too tight

–Extremely durable—can withstand rain too!

–Easy to clean if it gets dirty

–Zipper does not slip or come loose while you’re running

Cons for the armband:

–I really cannot think of anything—some people may not like how bulky it is… but you could choose if you wanted a smaller one.  The big one works for me!  I’d rather have my keys on my armband than having to carry them while I’m running!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

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Weekly Recap (Lauren)

Monday, July 7th: Rest day

Tuesday, July 8th: 4 miles running

Wednesday, July 9th: 5 miles running

Thursday, July 10th: Rest day

Friday, July 11th: 1 mile running

Saturday, July 12th: Rest day

Sunday, July 13th: Rest day

So as you can tell, I had a fairly easy week. I was planning on doing a long run on Sunday, but my back/neck was really hurting me, so I decided it wasn’t the best idea to run. Ever since the marathon, I have been pretty tired and my motivation has been lacking a little because I don’t have any upcoming races. So, I decided to get a Fitbit Flex so help give me some motivation to run. I really like it so far and it has been cool to be able to track my fitness even closer!

This week, I am planning on some more runs and hopefully I will for sure get in a longer run this weekend. I also want to continue with my cross training activities including my fitness class and doing my 30-Day Challenges. Phu showed me this website (http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com) when she visited me a few weeks ago and I have downloaded the app and signed up for 5 challenges (Abs, Squat, Beachbody, Plank, Pushups). I need to make sure I keep those going every day! Also, in less than 2 weeks we are going on vacation, so that is great motivation to get me into shape! I am also thinking of doing Jillian Michael’s Week Shred Video next week, and I will let you all know how that goes.

Hope you are all having an awesome week! :)

Lauren

 

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Weekly Recap – Kathleen

Monday, July 7th: Rest day
Tuesday, July 8th: Rest day
Wednesday, July 9th: 4 miles running (10:42 pace)
Thursday, July 10th: Rest day
Friday, July 11th: Rest day
Saturday, July 12th: 4 miles running (10:53 pace)
Sunday, July 13th: 8 miles running (10:50 pace on treadmill)

This week was a super busy one in running and at work. Since it was my final week at work, I put in lots of extra time finishing up some final projects and I’m happy to say my final few days were pretty stress free.

Yesterday, I started my new job! I’m so excited because it is exactly what I really want to do. Another perk of the job is that I mostly work Monday thru Friday… what?! I don’t know what it’s like to have Saturdays and/or Sundays off if I haven’t requested it off. This will also be super helpful with my running… no more worrying about getting enough sleep to get up early for a morning run. I cannot wait!!

With that being said, I’m still figuring out my next half marathon. I want to do the Healthy Human Race, but realistically I’ll be fully trained by Minnesota Half time. If I do the Minnesota Half, I might be able to squeeze in another race in September :) We’ll see!!

This upcoming week will be challenging again too as my miles pick up but my new job really picks up too!! Hopefully I’ll be able to fit in a cross training session this week too with my new fitness membership at my new job!

Kathleen

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Frontier Days Stampede Run 10k Recap

After a busy 4th of July with the family (filled with lots of food, fun, and laughs), I knew that I had to get a 7 mile run in on Sunday July 6. Knowing that a 10k is just .8 miles less than my needed 7 mile run, I went online to see if there were any 10k races going on close to my house.

Since I live in the Chicagoland area, there are numerous races all over the suburbs all the time. I was shocked to discover that there was a 10k in my work town of Arlington Heights! And I could register the day of the race for only $35 and get a t-shirt… sign me up!!

The race started at 7:30 am and registration started around 6:15 am. Since I had to get in a 7 mile run in, I got to registration early (the start line and finish line were about .5 miles apart) and parked at the finish line. I ran to the start line, got my registration done (super easy and they had my tech t-shirt size), and ran back to my car to put my t-shirt away (I refuse to wear the race shirt to a race…another race shirt is cool, but not the race shirt). After completing my .8 mile run, I had about 30 minutes to kill before the race started.

About 10 minutes before the race started, the race director told us to line up at the start line according to how fast we were. There were no pacers, but people were pretty good about lining up correctly. At 7:30, the director told us to go! I crossed the start line about 30 seconds into the race.

In addition to the 10k race that I was running, there was also a 5k run/walk going on as well. So right around the 2.5 mile mark, the 5kers broke off from the 10k and there were much fewer people running on my route .

The race was held thru a neighborhood, so there were a few people out in their driveways cheering us on, pointing their sprinklers at us and there was even a little girl with her own water stand! I’ve never done a hometown race, so it was pretty cool to do so.

Overall, the race was pretty flat and I was just running by feel. I knew with a small race I won’t be the fastest one out there but probably one of the slower ones (but who cares—I’ve done 6 half marathons… I’m more of a long distance girl!).

I’ve only run 1 10k race before and that was last summer the week after my first half marathon when I was super injured so I knew I’d be able to PR in this race. I ended up PRing by almost 7 minutes with a time of 1:03:24 (10:13 pace).

Pros:

–Lots of aid stations (at least 5 in this 10k race) with both water and Gatorade!

–Not many people—so it wasn’t crowded at all!

–I was able to sign up the day of the race, no problem!

–Got a fun tech t-shirt!

–Chip timed

–So much food after the race (bagels, watermelon, oranges, yogurt, water, and so much more!!)—more than the usual races

Cons:

–No medal—hahaha—I love medals!

–Not many people—I like big races because then I feel better about myself and my running abilities :)

Overall I’m super happy I signed up for this race. It was fun running in the neighborhoods of my soon to be old work town. It was a well supported race with lots of water and snacks!

Kathleen