Monday, July 6, 2015

#1MillionMinutes with Sweat Pink

I am taking part in the #1MillionMinutes campaign through Sweat Pink and this week, posting my version of the MadLib in order to help promote one of the sponsors, Puritan's Pride.

I’m so STOKED to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to RUN and WALK my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my AWESOME adventures!

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on PROTEIN to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my WATER BOTTLE to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try QUEST BARS and KIND BARS from Puritan’s Pride because they look TASTY and NUTRITIOUS.

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is CHROMIUM. I think it might make me extra ENERGETIC.

Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

Are you tracking your #1MillionMinutes with Sweat Pink, too?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

That 30 Second Walk Thing

It felt great to get out for a run this morning!

It has been pretty hot here the past few weeks and I knew if we were going to run today it would have to be early.  So, we got up, had a few sips of coffee, ate a banana on the way out the door and headed toward the water... there is always a nice little breeze coming up from the ocean.

I normally use the run/walk method for my day to day runs unless I am wearing a heart rate monitor. Sometimes I use a 9/1 interval, sometimes a 10/1. But lately I have been reading about Jeff Galloway's new run/walk philosophy which is keeping the walking breaks to 30 seconds rather than a full minute.  His reasoning is that after 30 seconds of walking we tend to slow down too much.

Now, I am not really that focused on speed because I tend to be a very slow runner anyway. But hey, I wouldn't mind improving that, even at this late stage in my running career. So, I decided to try the 30 second walk today to see if made any difference in  my speed or the way I felt.

Today I used a 9:30/:30 interval.... run for 9-1/2 minutes then walk for 1/2 minute.  Which is just long enough to snap a picture and get a sip of water, I have discovered!

I love this route along the Strait to the cruise ship terminal and back.  Well, I should say I love the outbound half because it is mostly downhill... which makes the return trip mostly uphill.  I do run that inbound half slower for sure! But it is a lovely view, and I do love an ocean breeze.

So how did my time compare to the last time I did this run, using the 30 second walk break instead of the whole minute?

The last time I did this same route, which is 4.36 km long, was 14 days ago and it was a similar warm morning.  I used a 10/1 interval and it took 15 minutes for the first half and 17 minutes and 50 seconds for the second half.  Total time 32:50.

Today I used a 9:30/:30 interval and it took only 14 minutes for the first half and 18 minutes and 30 seconds for the second half. Total time 32:30.

So I started out faster but slowed down more the second half, finishing 20 seconds faster overall.  I felt better after I finished this time, I do know that for sure.

I think that this 30 second walk is something that I will continue for a while. I can see that if I really want to improve my speed, that I should likely shorten the run interval and run faster during that time, then walk for the 30 seconds, and repeat.

How about you?  Are you concerned with speed on your day to day runs?  How do you work at getting faster? 

Do you use a run/walk interval at all? 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Canada's 148th birthday!

Have a wonderfu and safe celebration, wherever this joyous day takes you!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

5 Reasons To Work Out With Intention

As you already know by now, my focus for this year has been on having fun with my workouts... making sure I am doing exercises and activities that not only enhance my fitness but that I really enjoy doing.  I am playing lots of tennis this Summer, a bit of golf, and getting in lots of golf practice... but even though those are things I really love to spend time at, I still approach that play time with some sense of purpose, with an intention in mind.

5 Reasons I Work Out With Intention

I guess I should explain...

When I first started golfing many many years ago, I took a series of five lessons with a female co-worker. I was not really interested in golf, but she was a bit shy about goinng alone and wanted a companion so I went along with her, and was immediately HOOKED. I am probably one of the few golfers I know who really would rather spend time at practice than actually playing a round on the course.  I love to go through all the clubs in my bag, hitting a few shots at a time at various targets on the range... then heading to the bunkers for some sand shot practice, then to the putting green to hit some chips and pitches, and finish up with putting... I can spend hours at it... but I digress.

The point of that story is that the golf pro who taught me those first five lessons told me something that has stuck with me all these years... and that was "When you go to the range to practice, don't just stand up there and hit shots.  Make sure you are practising with a sense of purpose. Pick something to work on; otherwise you are just wasting your time and your game will suffer."

To this day, all these years (about 28) later, I still follow that advice. When I hit a shot, I make sure I am aiming at something.  I use good form. I keep my eye on the ball.  I make sure to complete my backswing.  Now that is not to say that I have a hundred-and-one things on my mind when I am practicing. Just the opposite. I approach each practice session with only one or two goals in mind so that I don't overwhelm myself and come away frustrated.  For example, I might work on my swing timing, and when I get to the putting green I may work on spotting a line to the hole.  Just a couple of simple thoughts that give my practice some focus, and give me a sense of purpose.  Sometimes I will have a game of sorts with The Captain, and then the focus also becomes the ability to perform under the pressure of competition.

Golf practice

I have carried this sense of purpose and intention into the other fitness and exercise activities that I take part in, as well.  For example, when I head to the tennis court I may decide to concentrate on keeping my body low so that I can put some leg power into my swing.  Or I may work on getting my body to the ball so I am not reaching to hit shots.

Spring tennis practice

When I head out for a run I normally have a purpose in mind as well.  Sometimes I work on keeping my heart rate within a certain range.  The last time I ran, I was concentrating on keeping my stride fairly short and speed up my foot turnover in order to try running a bit faster.  Sometimes I make sure to run up all the hills I encounter... or to slow down at the bottom of the uphills so I can speed up as I crest them.

When I am doing strength training I am usually focused on my breathing and on my form.

I recall that my only-ever yoga instructor also told us at the beginning of each session to find a purpose in the day's practice... whether it be to relax a certain body part, or even just to find some relief from stress in the middle of the busy work day.

The intentions I set are not about the qualitative aspects of my workout... not the quantitative... not the time or distance I am running; not the amount of weight I am lifting; not about the length of time I can hold a plank. They are about some aspect of the work, some quality of it that I hope to master to improve my ability to perform it and usually to enhance my enjoyment of it.

I am definitley not a proponent of working out being all about WORK... for me if it's not also FUN, I don't wannna do it.  I find that giving it a focus and a purpose makes it all the more like PLAY for me.

Working out and approaching my play time with a sense of purposeincreases my joy in the activity itself and has several other benefits:
  1. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.
  2. It improve my ability to perform the activity.
  3. I enjoy the inner competition and mental focus.
  4. I feel like I am doing something worthwhile for myself.
  5. It helps enhance my mental clarity and fability to concentrate.

What about you?  Do you approach your play time and your workout time with an intention in mind?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

DROPPS Review and Giveaway

I was recently approached by a representative of DROPPS to test their unit dose household cleaning pacs... mostly laundry focussed. I thought about it for some time before agreeing... talking laundry on my fitness blog... does that make sense?  But I realized that we all have to do laundry occasionally, or a LOT!

Laundry is not my favorite chore... not my favorite thing to dwell on at all.   I will let the laundry pile up for weeks, picking out items to handwash and line dry so that I don't have to visit the laundry room and do the big job.... but I did think about it.

I thought about how often I wash workout gear... shirts, sports bras, capris, and SOCKS, not to mention the mountains of towels we go through.   I would be silly not to want to try out a new product that offers to make one of my least favorite chores easier.  And I was told that DROPPS are great for workout clothes because they don't contain any harmful additives that can clog the fibres in my clothes like other detergents.

So I agreed to test the products, and chose the Scent + Dye Free/Sensitive Skin Trial Kit to try, and several days later it arrived.

It was a few of days before I was ready to face a couple of loads of laundry again, and I read through the material provided before heading to the laundry room. I chose to use the 2 trial packs in the test kit on a load of towels/socks and a load of light colored shirts.  

I followed the top-loading washing machine instructions and put 3 individual pacs in each load... the detergent, the booster, and the fabric softener.   They were easy to handle and not messy at all.  No measuring.   Just toss in and close the lid!  I did like that.

I admit to being somewhat nervous... I had never used a liquid fabric softener where you put it in with the detergent... only the type where you pour it into a separate basket and it releases through the rinse cycle.  I really wondered what kind of job it could do...

After the wash/rinse/spin cycles were finished, I moved the freshly cleaned items to the dryers... set them and let them run their full cycles... about an hour.

I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the items from the dryers. There was not a hint of any static cling.  And there was no fragrance whatsoever. I had been expecting a fresh smell, but the DROPPS were true to the advertising of scent-free.  I liked that, a lot!

And I was very happy to find fluffy fresh towels and socks... and in the other load, clean and bright tees and tanks.

Just look at how clean these white socks look.  Now keep in mind that these 2 pairs of white socks are my favorites... they are both a couple of years old and get worn at least once or twice a week for running and for tennis.... they look pretty good!  And much better than they did when I put them into this wash, believe me!

Now, if I could just find someone to sort and fold all that clean laundry...

I should tell you that inside this sample box is a package of dishwasher detergent DPOPPS as well... I do not have a dishwasher so I gave them to a friend to try. She liked them.  Obviously they are handy as well... open the pack and toss in a pod... no messy measuring... but they did a nice job of cleaning the dishes and the dishwasher was sparkling afterward as well.

I urge you to have a look at the DROPPS web site and read about their product lines, 24/7 free shipping, bundle & save, reward program, and easy auto-ship ordering.  Unfortunately, they do not currently sell to Canada.  Darn, how will I get more of them?   UPDATE - I have just learned that they are available for internation shipping from AMAZON.  YAY!

Would you like to try a sample of these DROPPS yourself?  If you have a U.S. address, this giveaway is for you.

You may select your choice of one sample kit to try... there are 3 to choose from:  
  • Bestseller Trial Kit
  • Scent + Dye Free/Sensitive Skin Trial Kit
  • Baby Trial Kit

Complete the entries in the Rafflecopter form below and I will select a winner after 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8th and announce it here on this post. I will also try to reach the winner by email... you will have 48 hours to respond or I will select an alternate winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!