Already thinking about an extra slice of pumpkin pie — or better yet your aunt’s famous stuffing? After Halloween, dieting seems to takes a back seat, and we are left with land mines leading up to the New Year. Suddenly it’s January, and we wonder why we can’t fit into our brightly-colored, very-trendy skinny jeans!
This isn’t inevitable. If you make time for yourself, and perhaps spend a little extra time at the gym, you can skip your clique’s New Year Resolution to burn off the holiday pounds and focus on something else… Like getting a jump on spring cleaning or saving up for an early vacation?
The burning question is: How much extra time is needed to burn off that big of a meal? No worries; my colleagues at Powerhouse Factories have put together an interactive dashboard utilizing the premier data visualization tool, Tableau. Thought this “viz” you can select what you normally eat at Thanksgiving and even make substitutions for things you skip (like dressing or whipped cream). Then, you can choose from hundreds of workouts that can burn it all off. We have spared no creativity on this list; you can go traditional and simple run, play flag football or even jump on a trampoline!
So what are you waiting for….Pimp My Thanksgiving Meal!
Wishing you and your family a safe & healthy Thanksgiving.
Shout out to Michael Cristiani of Applied Visual Analytics!
My friends, I’ve been blessed me with an amazing group of active girls who were patient, kind and supportive. They walked with me, when I need to catch my breath. Taught me new things, like how to run downhill, how to focus on my form and what to eat (and NOT eat) before a run. There is not enough space for me to share what I’ve learned from these girls over the past few months. What I can say is I know I am not the only lucky one. When you look at amazing sports teams, basketball, football….there is one common thread. No amount of individual talent can out weigh a team with a common goal, and there is no better place to fuel passion than with a group of people who have each others back. So, I would like to dedicate this post and my first (big) race, to my beautiful and supportive friends. You helped me do something I doubted I could for years.
Honey Badgers - First Day of Fall
Favorite Thing #1: Friends – to name just a few of you, my amazing life group, my NKY running buddy Traci and my cheerleader/co-worker Kelly.
Kelly’s clever post-it skills, to encourage me days before run.
Honey Badgers - Hyde Park Blast
Last, but certainly not least, the beautiful honey badgers (Mia, Shannon, Dolly, Terrah, Bonnie and Brea) – you guys have all been amazing teachers, sisters and running buddies. I look forward to the next chapters in our lives together, the Turkey Trot and Flying Pig!
Lesson – Studies, like the one by Princeton prove running with others yields better results and is better for you mentally. Looking back over the past few months I have strengthen relationships, built up my endurance and now have an amazing outlet for stress. If you are new to running, like I was I recommend starting with a group. Even if you can only join them once or twice a week, it will help keep you accountable while giving you the chance to learn new routes.
Crossing the finish line today.
Today’s Results - 10K, 6.3 Miles time: 59.25
Now time to rest- Have a great weekend everyone!
Xoxo - Treenah
I could list a million expressions around how fashion equals pain. Look at any woman who has been sporting 3.5’ stilettos for more than a few hours. However, in fitness you can have fashion and function! In full transparency, I have to admit when I first bought LuLulemon , it was a result of drinking the Kool-Aid. After further review, I have discovered that the crops and jackets are built with smart technology. Luon, Luxtreme and Lycra, to name a few of the features that make their fabric built for high performance.
Favorite Thing #2: Lululemon Crops and Jackets
Lesson – After adopting a knee brace, certain bottoms like loose pants and shorts were no longer an option. As the leaves changed and the crisp autumn air moved in, running with a long sleeve jacket became a necessity. Below are all my favorite fitness apparel essentials, happy shopping fitness friends!
- Fast and Free Crop These are amazing, tons of pockets, keep my brace in place and they have ruffles!
- Inspire Crop II These are another great crop, the main difference is the triangular gusset which allow you a better range of motion
- In Stride Jacket This jacket is amazing, keeps me warm and stays in place while I run!
- Powerhouse Tank Top I have to represent my amazing company!
- Emi Jay Hair Bands My newest obsession! They don’t leave a crease, and two adorable girls invented them!
- Sweaty Bands If you are going to spring for a headband, pick one that will stay put during your run. PS – Cincinnati, this company is local!
- C9 Champion Sports Bra Last thing, I love these sports bras! I have tried others, but the price and fit is perfect!
One final lesson, lucky I found this one before making a classic rookie mistake. DO NOT go shopping for a new outfit for the race, unless if you have time to test it out. According to the October issues of Runner’s World its bad luck, and a bad idea to wear anything you haven’t work while running before. This includes the race t-shirt, imagine throwing that cute t-shirt on and the seeing mile 3 and realize it is chaffing you. My idea, reward yourself with new gear after you cross the finish line…it can serve as motivation as you race towards retail therapy.
Now time for some shut eye before the big day. Stay tuned to see my #1 favorite thing tomorrow, after I cross the finish line!
The expression “pounding the pavement” is another saying that applies to my job, but it’s one thing I like leave at the office. By that, I mean I don’t like to hear myself breathing, my feet hitting the pavement with each passing step and the sound of cars (and sometimes the people in them) when I am running. My solution, good ol’ Apple technology!
My friends, including one of the beautiful honey badgers Brea Dage, has been asking me to share my favorite running app’s and my preferred technology for running…..so let’s power up!
Favorite Thing #3: Fitness Technology: Apps, Tech and Tunes!
- Map My Run Free
- Stretch Guru .99 Cents
- Pandora Free and one of my favorites!
- Run10Feed10 Free & yes, I am dork and have the app for my race!
- Lose It! Free
- 5K Runner Free
- My Fitness Pal Free
- Ab Workouts Free
- Moksha Yoga Free & a great way to pick my hot yoga classes for the week!
- Workouts Love the ab and upper body workouts on this app, plus you can add workouts to your calendar!
Lesson – Sometimes, you need something to distract you from the pain that will come with a run. For me, the rush I get from Pandora playing one of my favorite songs or Map My Run telling me I just ran my third mile at record time makes the next run feel like a walk in the park. Also, being a goal driven person knowing that the little friendly GPS connected voice will tell me when I have hit my mark helps me to not give up. Last, yesterday I shared that proper preparation is key to prepping for a great run. In that post I listed stretching as something you should always plan to do. Why do I know this you ask, because I was guilty of the cardinal sin of running, not stretching soon enough. My new favorite app listed below is Stretch Guru, it takes you thru a series of stretches for runners and bonus…it’s only .99 cents!
If you need a good set of head phones for running or a heart rate monitor, here are my favorites:
YurBuds Sport Ear PhonesThank you husband! IRONMAN Road Trainer Digital Heart Rate Monitor Already have those on your phone, then perhaps some of the Top 10 Free iPhone Apps to Lose Weight from Mashable will be up your alley.
Have a good night friends, come back tomorrow for #2 on my list!
They say that luck comes to those who are prepared. While this is normally a saying for business, I think it applies to many things. If you prepare for Christmas, you avoid being one of those people who are fighting over the last Rock-n-Roll Elmo on Christmas Eve. If you make a grocery list and avoid shopping hungry, you make better choices. This saying also applies to working out and running. While running involves less equipment and can be done almost anywhere, preparation can be your best friend. In my experience, charting a course to a successful run has helped me avoid the common rookie runner mistakes.
Favorite Thing #4: Planning, Training Schedule & Good Fuel
Lesson: When I tried to “run” in the past, I never gave preparation much thought. I threw on my shoes, plugged in my head phones and ran out the door. My results were good, but not great. The following is what helped me chart a course to more successful runs.
- Map your course – This way, I knew my mileage and how much territory I wanted to cover. I started with fun, less challenging, neighborhoods and later ventured to more difficult parks and the trails at Lunkin Airport
- Fuel up – Proper hydration and eating right are essential to a good run. If you are dehydrated or don’t have the proper food-fuel, it can be really tough to finish your run
- Cross train – I fought this for the first two weeks of training, but after adding in spinning, weights and yoga, I found my body warming up faster and welcoming the run
- Stretch, stretch and stretch some more. I once heard a massage therapist tell me, “You can work out and diet, but the best thing you can do for your body is stretch.” This is so true. We push our muscles and test our body, but we don’t wring out the damage from our really hard workouts. Stretching is the best way to prevent injury. Just ask around
- Stick with it – This sounds easy. But wait until week four of your training and someone tries to convince you try a new fitness class or a non-workout activity when you are scheduled to run. It can be hard to say no, but on race day your body will thank you
- Light at the end – by prepping and planning you keep that goal on the horizon. Sign up for a race when your body is ready and don’t look back. If you need to dial back a workout and baby a tight IT band, do it. If a reward system works for you, plan a spa visit for the week after the run. A deep tissue massage may be just what the doctor ordered
Check back tomorrow for more favorite things and lessons, on my journey to my first 10k!
“It’s not sweat, its pixy dust!”
The past few months have been amazing, both professionally, personally and physically. Making me wish I would have tried running years ago, because I can honestly say I am one of “those people” who truly loves it. Yes, it is still hard at times and my body isn’t always up for the task, but after completing 5.5 for the first time I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Not quite the “runners high” I’m still waiting for! But hitting that milestone made me realize I had won the “mind over matter” game. When they say running is all mental, they aren’t kidding!
As you come down a street and you see the crescendo of a big hill up ahead, it’s hard not to want to give up. For me, the more I ran…the easier it got. By setting realistic goals for myself, like running three days a week while making time for cross training and stretching. Endurance is something I lacked, so I challenged myself to add a half a mile each week so I could run longer. This is why, days away from my first big race I would like to count down my favorite things and share what lessons I have learned on this journey of becoming a runner. For those of you still telling yourself,
“I can’t run. I’m not a runner. It’s too hard!”
Just know, I was singing the same tune…..a few short months ago.
Favorite Thing #5: Asics Gel 2170
Lesson: If the shoe fits!
One mistake rookie runners make (including yours truly) is not investing in good quality shoes. I had tried to run before in “cheap” shoes, but those $30/$40 sneakers did not give my feet what they needed. Support, stability all in a lightweight gel package built for feet like mine.
“My name is Treenah, and I’m a pronator”.
Now looking at my cheap sneakers in the back of my closet I find it ironic, that we will spend double on a nice pair of heels….some we may only wear a few times, for a few hours. But it’s crazy to spend $100 on a pair of shoes that we can wear for 300-400 miles…that will result in better looking legs in those sexy stilettos.
My lesson – go to a running store and getting a running analysis done, it’s KEY…and free! This article on About.com goes over the details, but here is what you should expect at a specialty running store:
1. What you need: time, you old running shoes and be dressed to run 2. What they should do: measure your foot, watch or video you running and ask you questions about your running style/schedule 3. Next Steps: they will try to sell you shoes, if they are too pricey you can always look for the same shoe online
Check back tomorrow for my next favorite thing, that has helped me prep for the finish line of the Run 10 Feed 10 Race!
Happy trails - Treenah
Those who know me would agree: Once I commit to something it takes some high water to get me to walk away. So, when my workout buddy asked me via text to do the Warrior Dash in “Lexington,” Kentucky, I said yes without hesitation. Little did I know my first 5k was much more than a run-of-the mill race.
Weeks after signing up, I looked up more info on the “dash.” I uncovered images and a disclaimer with 22 places to initial! I had unknowingly signed up for a 5K that could only be described as diabolic: It involved scaling walls, crawling under barbwire, running over fire and swimming through mud.
It takes a very cold day to get me to back down from a fight. I took the challenge head on and started training. Some warriors opt to run the race barefoot. However, I consulted my friends heeded their advice to wear my least favorite running shoes, also sporting the tank top my colleagues at Powerhouse Factories had made for me to destroy. The battle took place in Lebanon, Kentucky….. Hours from Lexington.
The little town of 6,000 was ill prepared for the 7,000 warriors (some who showed up in costumes) and the teams in matching outfits ready to go through hell and back for the right to be called a warrior! And go through hell we did! Fourteen obstacles later, I crossed the muddy finish line with my newly-formed friends on”Team J”.
Passing on the turkey leg and free beer, I donated my shoes and joined the other St. Jude warriors as the local fire department hosed us all down. Then, in true Kentucky fashion, the warriors from Team J, my best friend Helene and I crammed in the back of one of the only cabs in Lebanon — leaving the back of the van open as our muddy feet dangled on our way home.
Being a cheerleader to those around me, I have to pay homage to an untimely cheerleader. Helene not only waited in the bristling heat for hours while we waited in line for the race, she was at the finish line to capture the moment I finished the course. After the race, she smiled the whole way as we walked two miles to find a friendly Lebanon cabby. Before you think, “my best friend would do that, too,” I have to share the run took place on Helene’s birthday weekend. Luckily, we had a great night planned in historic midway to celebrate another great year as besties!
Helene, thank you for being my angel and cheering me through the “5k from hell.”
If someone asked me “What’s your favorite day of the week?” my answer would be Wednesday, for two reasons; the work week is half way over and my biggest stress reliever beings at 5:45. My “happy hour” is a little class with a big following, Calorie Crusher!!! Each week at Urban Active our rock star instructor Jill Karst takes us through a series of ten cardio & strength moves designed to challenge your body, giving everyone the opportunity to push themselves at their own pace. This is one class that lives up to its name, participants including myself who wear heart rate monitors have crushed on average from 700-1000 calories in one class! All you need is an hour worth of good music, a mat and some friends. No equipment required! To those of you who live outside of Urban Active’s area don’t fret; this class is easy to duplicate.
When you walk into Calories Crusher the first thing you will notice are ten pieces of paper taped to the mirror of the class room. On each of these are ten basic cardio and strength movements (example below). As the music starts everyone begins to walk or run for one minute, at the end of that minute the next move begins. After ten minutes of checking off each move the last sign is ripped off the mirror, leaving only nine workouts to complete. By the time the class is down to its last 20-30 minutes an overwhelming sense of accomplishment takes over the room and it’s not uncommon for people to begin clapping, yelling and even high fiving their neighbors!
- Jump Shot
- Squat or Lunge
- Seated Twist
- Push Up
- Cardio Lunch with Punch
- 4 Square (Jump front, side, back, side)
- Catcher’s Mitt (hold a low squat w/ hands up)
Being a person who has always done cardio but never “loved” it, let alone “crave” it. I have broken down the reasons this class inspires so much contagious energy!
- Newbies welcome: If the list above is slightly intimidating, never fear – these workouts come with many options. If a move requires a jump, you have the option to step. At any time you feel you are pushing yourself to hard, you have the options to pull back.
- NO Surprises: When you are new to a class or instructor we often are scared to push ourselves too hard, without knowing what could be unveiled in the second half of the class. In my opinion this class allows you to use that extra “fuel” if you know you only have one set of push up’s left.
- Group effort: Studies have proven that working out with a buddy or a group encourages an individual to run faster, jump higher and stick with it! In Florence our average class has 50-75 participants; this is strength in numbers people!
- Whittle down effect: as the list of workouts gets smaller and the minutes on the clock wind down something happens to the class moral. An electric feeling comes over each participant as they realize what they have accomplished and what little work is left. Smiles are painted across peoples flushed faces and they find a reserve of energy, it’s our own runners high. As the weeks go by and the signs continue to come down not only do we whittle down the workouts on the mirror, but we are left with happier, healthier and leaner versions of ourselves.
So what are you doing today at 5:45?
As a thank you to all my friends and family for an amazing birthday, I offer a gift in return. As a firm believer that age is just a number, I think it’s only fitting to pass along my favorite tips that may result in a healthier and more youthful you. With the right proactive steps, you can look and (more importantly) feel better with each passing day,
Let’s face it: life is full of stress. The “fountain of youth” has yet to be discovered, despite various companies’ claims that they know the secret. Seven short years ago, while working full-time and finishing college, I found myself searching for that very fountain - or any “magic” that would cure my exhaustion and sluggishness. People who knew me then probably weren’t aware how stressed-out I was; people who know me now probably can’t imagine a non-energetic me. But I am living proof that the right lifestyle can make each year better than the last.
Bodies are like automobiles: without proper fuel, maintenance and TLC, the “vehicle” just won’t run the properly. Try a few of the following tips. If you don’t feel better within 30 days, I will happily delete this post. So without further ado:
Fuel – everything you need to keep you “engine” going and “RPM’s” high:
- Zzzz’s – Sorry, night owls, but sleep is essential to fuel your body. While you sleep, your body recuperates. It repairs damaged cells. It recharges. It prepares for the next day. When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows.
- H20 – Water, water and more water. Not only does water help to remove toxins, promote weight loss and improve overall health, it also yields a healthier, glowing complexion. That’s the finding of studies that track the impact of drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day. Detest the thought of drinking plain tap water? Perhaps one of the many variations of “designer water” will quench your thirst. Now available in grocery stores across the country are coconut water, flavor packets like Crystal Light Pure and my personal favorite, sparking water.
- SuperFoods & clean eating – Have you ever noticed your friends with the most energy are the friends who eat healthy, well-balanced meals? There’s a reason. Quite simply, the human bodies simply is not designed to digest what America considers “food.” A “happy meal,” for instance, will make your insides anything but happy, with its emphasis on fats, salt and calories. The folks at Health Food Made Easy have compiled a lovely list of 111 SuperFoods that will give your body the boost it needs while simultaneously combating illness. Two of my favorite SuperFoods are missing from the list, edamame and cucumbers. Hate cucumbers? You might want to try and re-train your taste buds after reading the 13 Interesting Facts and Benefits about Cucumbers .
Maintenance – keep problems from occurring before it’s too late:
- Regular checkups – Think of your doctor as a mechanic. With regular tune ups you can prevent bigger problems. When we were kids, our parents always made sure we went to the doctor and dentist on a regular basis. It’s a good habit for “busy” adults to maintain.
- Vitamins – As our bodies get older we need to make sure our supplements match our needs, this is a great question to ask your doctor.
- Active lifestyle – Newton said it best “A body in motion tends to stay in motion” (and it doesn’t matter that his “bodies” were atomic ones). If you are new to fitness, don’t be afraid. Start simple. Taking a walk around your neighborhood is better than sitting on the couch. Think of “exercise” the way you thought about “recess” as a child – an opportunity to break the routine and get out and have FUN. And remember: your goal is to create energy!
TLC – everyone needs a little tender loving and care:
- Sunscreen – Gone are the days of telling ourselves that baking in the sun is a good idea. Regular use of sunscreens is best way to prevent premature aging or the skin and increasingly common skin cancers.
- Makeover – While it may sound superficial, we all need a little freshening up from time to time. Think less along the lines of anything “extreme” and more along the lines of “treating” yourself to a new haircut, wardrobe or a few new makeup/skin care tricks from your local makeup counter.
If you still aren’t convinced, just think of all the women and men in Hollywood who are pushing the limits and changing the perception of age into their 60s, 70s and 80s. All of that youth – no matter what age - starts with two things: attitude and confidence!
Go get some!