Monday, December 30, 2013

13 in 2013 (Lucky 13!)

Let's Recap!

1.  This year I got accepted to my first FitFluential campaigns!

In the spring, I reviewed a YMX by Yellowman Shirt,

Then I reviewed the Koss FitSeries earphones.

2.  I guest posted on three sites:

Running with Ollie about getting into triathlons.

The Sarcasm Goddess, who made me a member of her Super Secret Society of Awesome Goddesses but maybe I'm not supposed to tell you that.  It was all about how I got to be the way I am.

Real World Weight Loss about finding your motivation.

3.  I made a video. I'm going to make you click the link if you want to see it. 

4.  I was fortunate to get free entries/race ambassadorships for the two sprint triathlons I raced this year.

The Dilettante Women's Triathlon,

and the Athleta Iron Girl.

5.  I tried Bikram Yoga.


6.  My sister forced me to go to Shred with her.

7.  I ran in Paris! (Post in progress)

8.  I got to join the Tough Chik team with my friends Erika and Christy!

9.  I was nominated for Hilarious Health Activist at Wego Health (It's easy to endorse me with one click and you can vote once a day through all of January--there are lots of great people to vote for in lots of categories!) Thank you for all the votes so far!!

10.  My blog turned 3 years old.

11.  I ran two 5ks, one of which I PRed (race recap still to come), and the Ottawa Race Weekend run with my sister and nephews.

And my sister became a runner! 

12.  I ran the Heroes Half Marathon and got a PR, thanks to Erika pacing me! case you haven't heard:

13.  I.  Ran.  A MARATHON!!

So, in 2014, I plan to do MORE!  More swimming, biking, and running, more blogging, getting a sub 2:00 half marathon, running another full marathon, and most importantly:

Sharing more about the people who inspire me to crush my goals.  Look for more  Thumbs Up posts next just might find yourself in one of them!!

What did you accomplish this year?  

What are your plans for 2014?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Longest Run I Ever Ran Before My Longest Race (My 20 mile training run)

Before we start, I have something exciting to tell you, if you don't follow me on Facebook:  my kind friend Pavement Runner nominated me for the Hilarious Health Activist Award at Wego Health!  I would love it if you would take a moment to endorse me.  It's just a simple click, and you can also endorse your other favourite health activists, or even nominate one!!  Click here!
Thank you!  And now, on with the post!

Hello friends.  I hope you're all enjoying a nice holiday with your families.  Since this is usually a time of year for reflection, it seems appropriate for me to go back in time to the summer, and review my training...

Actually, that is a lie.  I'm sorry. 

The truth is, this is my first opportunity to write about the training; the timing is just coincidental.  The next few posts I write will detail some of my very long runs. Let's start with the longest training run, shall we?

The date:

The plan:

Up to that point I had run one successful 15 miler, then did not complete my next 2 long runs (I was on vacation and between my training, walking an average of 8 miles a day sightseeing, and the humidity, I had a rough time.  I know, send the whaaambulance.)  Since I was not at all anxious in any way about this run, I had convinced Ann Marie that we should do it together.

The whole way to her house I couldn't shake the feeling that I was forgetting something. Then I remembered what it was.

Also, my earbuds.

Since everyone has 50 billion pair of these, Ann Marie hooked me up.  We headed out, but I was still feeling nervous and fidgety.

In hindsight, maybe we both were.

Our route was basically 2 laps of a 10 mile loop, that included a drawbridge that never opens...unless you need to run across it.


Aside from the bridge, we had to stop for occasional traffic lights, and multiple water refills.

At that point in my training, I had developed blisters upon blisters on my big toes.  They would typically numb up after a few miles, but each time we had to restart running, it hurt.  Ann Marie was hurting too.

We were taking our run in 4 mile chunks, just as Erika had instructed us:

Chunk One:  4 mile warm up.

Chunk 2:  4 miles at 10:20 min/mile pace.

Chunk 3: 4 miles at 10:15 min/mile pace.

Chunk 4:  4 miles at 10:10 min/mile pace.

Chunk 5 was, mercifully, a 4 mile cool down.

At Mile 15.1 I made a comment proclamation.

We decided we should high five to commemorate the occasion.

We discovered it was surprisingly difficult to connect when both people were moving.

At Mile 16 we found blackberries along the trail!

They actually grow wild here.

We stopped our watches and made like squirrels preparing for the winter freeze.

They were, without a doubt, the very best blackberries I have ever had in my entire life.


Feeling refreshed and hopped up on natural sugars, I was sure that the 4 mile cool down would be a breeze.

I was wrong.

By Mile 18 I was ready to be done.

So ready.

It didn't help that by that point on our route we were on a very popular recreational trail. Also, I kept looking at my Garmin every 0.2 miles.

But we slogged on, and in just 3 hours, 33 minutes, and 14 seconds we were DONE!

We limped our way back toward Ann Marie's place, agreeing that it felt like we had growing pains in our legs.  It was a strange sensation but it didn't last too long.

And then we high fived.

Successfully. Because we were standing still.

Ok, don't forget to endorse me! If you want to.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Come Check Out My Guest Post. It's All About Motivation!

Hey guys!  This is a super-quick post to let you know that I'm guest posting over at Real World Weight Loss today! Helen and I became internet friends after I was lucky enough to review her book, 21 Days to Change Your Body.

Somehow, she decided I would fit in with all her experts in her 12 Days of Fitness series.  I don't have the others' background in health and fitness, but if you want to know the secret to being active, I will tell you.  Plus, you can read what all the people in-the-know, well, know!

So please go have a look!  Thanks!

Here's a sneak peek!

Psst, hey you.  Yes, you!  Do you want to know the secret to becoming more active?

Be more active.

Really.  There are no fancy secrets to becoming healthier, fitter and activer more active.  Ok, maybe there is one secret.

Do you want to know what it is?? Click through to Helen's blog!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Want to Know Who Won the Drawing Giveaway? (Of course you do!)

I am ready to reveal the winner of my 3 Year Anniversary stick figure giveaway!

I was so happy to see entries on this, as it is such a personal thing (I mean, it's not like I'm giving away a pair of shoes or something.)

There were 42 entries and I used to find the winner:

And the 26th comment was from GiGi!


Please email me at in the next 48 hours to work out the deets!

Thanks again everyone.  I'll be back to blogging about running very soon.  In the meantime if you'll excuse me, I have a holiday party to get ready for.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Good Earbud is Hard to Find (But Koss Made One!)

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Koss. I was compensated and given 2 sets of Koss FitSeries earphones to review.

The opinions, however, are all my own.

I have always been a music lover.  A good song gets me up to clean the dishes, makes me happy when I have to commute over 100 miles for work, and makes my runs and workouts more fun.  Even the treadmill runs.  However, my experiences with earbuds have been disappointing.

The round ones are too big.

The clips are not the right shape.

The soft earbuds don't hurt, but they fall out of my ears every couple of minutes...which might actually explain why it takes me so long to learn new songs.

Turns out the lyrics are much less nonsensical than that.

I find myself almost obsessive-compulsively pushing my earbuds-especially the left one-back into my ears throughout my entire workout.  Sometimes that can be over 3 hours of this:

Please tell me I'm not the only one who makes super weird faces when putting my earphones back in my ears.

Thus, I was delighted when I was given the chance to review two pair of Koss earphones and share the results with you, my lovely readers!

Check out the package that came with all my goodies!

Koss has been making headphones since 1954.  Recently, Gold Medalist Dara Torres (that lovely lady on the boxes in the photo) teamed up with Koss' female designers to create the world's first headphones designed specifically for women, by women.

Let me tell you, I'm not the person who gets all giggly when products are targeted *just to females*.  I feel like my blister barriers, memo notes, and pens do not have to have fancy designs on the packages to work any better for me.

But my history has led me to wonder:

As I tore through opened the packages, I was happy to find not one, but two sets of earphones!

First I took the FitClips for a spin.  I was excited to see that they were flexible!

SO excited!!


I took the FitClips out on some very cold runs 2 days in a row.  The first day I wore a hat for part of the run, but took it off to see how well the clips would stay without help.  I thought maybe they jiggled a little, but I didn't feel any of the pinching or pushing I usually get with earclip headphones.

On my second run I went 3 miles, only touching my FitClips once.  They were a bit loose and therefore I lost some of the fullness of sound,  but the trade-off is that they honestly were so comfortable I barely felt them.

I then moved on to the FitBuds for my gym workout.


I really liked the FitClips, but I am in LOVE with the FitBuds!!

They were snug and comfortable and just did not move!  I also took them on the treadmill for 4 very sweaty miles.  They bounced around a bit, which makes sense because I was bouncing, but they did not get loose or fall out!  I think it's due to their hook-on type of shape.

You know you're jealous of my post-run fuzzy hair and red face.


1.  I felt that both types of earphones (FitClips and FitBuds) produced a very balanced sound, so if you are really into a lot of bass, you might be sad to not have your eardrums blown out.  But being a communication specialist in my big-girl job, I think that is actually a benefit!

2.  The one thing that is missing for me is that there is no in-line microphone/button to skip songs.  I use that feature quite a bit on other earphones.  Koss does have it on some of their other products, and I think it would make the FitSeries even better.

3.  Koss advertises that their FitSeries earphones are 33% smaller than other earbuds, with 3 ear cushion sizes included (you can mix and match like me!), and are sweat-resistant.  These earphones were comfortable and DID NOT FALL OUT OF MY EARS!  For that reason alone I would buy them, but I also like their sound quality!

The Koss FitSeries FitClips and FitBuds will make a great holiday gift for the frustrated music lover with smaller ears, particularly for active women. They are on sale in the U.S. at only $19.99 (normally $29.99) for the holidays at the following stores:

Best Buy

Talk about the perfect stocking stuffer!  You can check these out, and all their products at

Also, they have a fabulous choice of colours!

Whoops, looks like I got a bit giggly there after all.  

You can also follow Koss on:
Facebook Koss
Instagram @Koss
Pinterest KossHeadphones

I am so happy that FitFluential and Koss gave me the chance to try out the FitSeries earphones.They definitely get a Thumbs Up!



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