PNW Winter Running & Mizuno Wave Rider 17

*The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

It’s December 4th and I am still running outside! This is just another thing that I love about the Pacific Northwest. Last year I was able to run in mid-January (when we moved here) and it was amazing. I am looking forward to keeping up with 2-3 days of running per week this winter as well however I need to gear up.

Winter 2012-13

Winter 2012-13

Last year I waffled over whether or not to buy a water proof running jacket and by the time I decided to the rainy season was just about over. Here we are again in the rainy season and I think it’s just about time to gear up with a new running jacket. Other essentials for PNW winter running include a brimmed hat to keep the rain out of your face, gloves (!!), warm running tights and of course a good pair of shoes.

As I write this however we are in the midst of a cold spell and it’s actually been colder here than in Vermont AND yesterday there was a dusting of snow. So I guess I might need to get a few new warm base layers as well. Oh how much easier it is to run outside in the summer! Maybe we should move to Hawaii.

While gearing up for seasonal running is important I would say the most important and essential running items you need is a good pair of sneakers. I have been all over the place when it comes to running shoes just based on weight, experience and changes after pregnancy.  The first shoe I ever bought was a Mizuno Wave Rider about four years ago. I loved them but took a break and tried some others but I am glad to be able to try another pair of Mizuno and not just any Mizuno the new Wave Rider 17.

photo 2Why you might also like this shoe:

  • You’re a neutral runner looking for a new shoe.
  • You are looking to train for an upcoming race and need a shoe that will be able to give you just enough support and cushioning for high mileage training.
  • You want a shoe that is not only supportive and good for training but also looks stunning on your feet. photo 1

At this point I have done around 8 miles in these shoes (I just received them a week ago) and I like them. I can’t commit to loving them until I have done at least 20 miles but I am hoping that I do! So now I have new shoes and I am hoping Santa brings me a few of the other essentials above so I can make winter running happen (or I’d take a gym membership and do some winter dreadmill running).

What are your winter running essentials? How do you chose a running shoe?


What My Toddler Wears: Reebok VentureFlex


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Reebok and FitFluential. Edith and I both received sneakers as compensation. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Usually I’m blogging about my own fitness gear but today it’s all about Edith. Recently she received her very own pair of Reebok VentureFlex and she is in love. Seriously this girl is crazy about shoes, I mean if she could wear them all day and night she would but these seem to be a favorite of hers. Every morning before we even get dressed for the day she grabs those shoes brings them to me, sits down and asks me to put them on her.


The VentureFlex, which is just for toddlers – girls and boys sizes 2-10, is more than just a cute shoe that Edith loves they are an overall great shoe. Reebok’s Ventureflex has an incredible flexible outsole, a sock liner tool which helps you quickly size your toddler’s foot and also a wide toe box. One feature I really appreciate is that the shoe offers a good amount of flexibility while still being supportive.

Reebok VentureFlex - great for climbing slides!

Reebok VentureFlex – great for climbing slides!

Although we were provided these shoes for free I have to say that as soon as Edith grows out of them I will be buying her another pair. These shoes have proven to be perfect for walks to the park, running around the playground and they have even made a trip to the science museum where they were worn while doing some crazy water play (yes they dried fairly quickly).  Overall a winning shoe and perfect timing as she had just grown out of her first pair of sneakers.

P.S. This product is available at Finishline in store and online at

Overcoming Workout Obstacles

Neil is on a major deadline for a work project which has been consuming all of his time. He actually at work as I write this, it’s 6pm on a Sunday and he will probably be there for another 6 hours. This was our situation last weekend as well and every day this week he has been early to work, late to arrive home and after a quick dinner and story time he has been back to work. Needless to say we haven’t had a lot of family time and I haven’t had a lot of alone time to workout.

jogging stroller - kids reebok

Weeks like these I could just throw my hands up and not workout but instead I make alterations to my workout plan and try to get in as many workouts as possible. Often workouts have to be done with a toddler in tow so here are a a few ways I get a workout in:

  • Jogging Stroller. Seriously one of the best investments that we have ever made has been in buying our BOB jogging stroller. I use it at least twice per week to go out for a run with Edith (yay for being back in my running groove) and I often take her out at least one or two times for a nice long walk to the park.
  • Babywearing. You might be scratching you head and saying really? YES! Caring around my 20lb toddler IS a workout especially when we get out for a 2-2.5 mile walk. The days of easy babywearing are over but I still love it.
  • Chase The Toddler. This is a game E and I love to play. We head to the park and find a green area and I will run after her or circles around her and then come in for a big tickle session. I get my workout in and both of us get lots of laughing in.
  • Stair Climbing. Literally. We have a set of stairs that goes up to our main living area and E will stand at the top and I will run up and down the stairs (17 stairs total in case you are wondering).  I then reach through the gate and give her a tickle and she just laughs and laughs.
  • Dance Party. When the weather is dreary we put on music and dance around the house. The best part is I can really get going and get my heart rate up just by having a 30 minute dance party with E. Bonus she generally sleeps better on dance party nights.
  • Yoga Videos During Naps. I have tried to do other workout videos during naps but I often make a little too much noise but since yoga videos are generally calm and  quiet I am able to do them during nap time.

I am still trying to come up with some other ideas on ways to get workouts in while E is awake but so far I have a number of ones that work for me. That being said there are NO EXCUSES when it comes to getting at least four good workouts in per week.

Are there obstacles or challenges that are getting in the way of your workouts? How do you or could you overcome them?

Conclusion: Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation

12week3The following post is sponsored by Girls Gone Sporty on behalf of Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. As always all opinions are my own.

I am in the homestretch for completing Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation 4-week preview plan. I am often not one to stick with training plans (with the exception of running) so I am proud of myself for sticking fairly close to this plan. I’m not going to tell you I didn’t have off days because I did have 3-4 but overall I stuck to the plan and I can tell you I notice a difference.

  • Weight: My weight fluctuated during this training time but overall I saw a 2lb lost (according to today’s weigh in). My goal was to be closer to 5lbs but I’m still happy with 2.
  • Inches (or Centimeters): Here is where I have seen more of a difference. It was a bit confusing to do everything in metric although after going to University in Canada I get why metric is just more accurate overall (take note American teachers). Anyways I lost centimeters around my hips, waist, arms, and legs which for me is even more significant that the overall weight loss. Clothes fit a bit better and I even went and bought myself some new items!
  • Workouts: I tried to stick close to the plan and I got in 90% of my workouts including a lot more running. I am feeling good and back on my game for sure. I am planning to keep up with running, strength training and also some yoga.
  • Food: This was the only real place I found issues. I tried most of the vegan recipes but since there was such a small selection my husband, daughter and I got bored fast with the options. Now I refuse to cook separate meals for the two of them so whatever I make is for all of us so I had to consider them a bit when choosing our meals for the week. I ended up creating meals a number of meals that stayed in my calorie allowance that were low in salt, sugar, fat and were filled with protein and important nutrients. Some of the dishes I made were gluten free pasta with lentil marinara, Buddha bowls, tempeh with greens and roasted roots and banana ice cream (whipped frozen bananas).

Overall my experience with this program was a positive one. I lost a little weight, lost centimeters and got back on track with working out. As I said in the past I have heard rumors that they will be increasing the number of vegan options so if you are vegan the selection of food should improve. I also really enjoyed the weekly motivational videos from Michelle Bridges. They really helped to keep me focused and on track with my goals.

So would I do the full 12 week program? Although I know it would be a huge challenge I would love to try it out. I was impressed with the preview and think that there is a lot of potential for this to be a really great 12 week program.

Do you think you would be interested in this program?

Committing to Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation

The following post is sponsored by Girls Gone Sporty on behalf of Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. As always all opinions are my own.

I am just going to say it I’ve been struggling with making time for workouts.  I started off October on a good foot and was doing T25 but I didn’t stick with it (surprise, surprise?). Now we’re getting closer to November and it’s time to recommit and this time really commit so I am going to say it here and now to all of you:

I am committing to four weeks of participation in Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program.

Right now we are in pre-season mode so I am getting ready to officially start the program this Monday. In pre-season there are eight tasks to fulfill and let me tell you they really put things into perspective. For example the ‘Get Real’ task forces you to confront everything that is holding you back or rather how you are holding yourself back.  All the excuses that I make which lately have included lack of sleep, Neil’s schedule, too many other things to do, too late, too rainy, ect.

Once I laid out my excuses I then set my goals for the next 12 months. My overall goal is to lose 30+ lbs in the next year.  This month my goal is to lose 5 pounds, my three month goal is to have lost 10 pounds and to be able to once again run a 5k with ease, my six month goal is to have lost 20 pounds and to be back at my 10k pace and then lastly at 12 months I want to have lost 30 pounds and be ready to run a half marathon.

So task three was to gear up based on where you will be doing your workouts inside, outside or at home.  Since most of my workouts will be outside or at home I really have nothing to get but I do need to get the tire on our BOB looked at because it keep losing air; anyone else have this problem?

Task four is the kitchen makeover and I have to say besides the pumpkin beer for our tasting party this weekend there really isn’t anything that I needed to clean out. We have been making a real effort to keep our kitchen filled with whole and healthy foods so it felt good to see that we have been keeping up with it.

Next I did my Fitness Test which included a flexibility test, running, push ups, plank and a wall sit. It felt really good to get out and run even if it was just for the fit test. I’m slow but honestly my pace wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated but nevertheless I am still in the beginner category because I have taken such a long break from consistent workouts.

After my fitness test i did my weight and measurements which is always something I dread.  I don’t plan on going back and doing either again until I have completed the four weeks. I really don’t want to get hung up on my weight and measurements and would rather focus on how I feel. I do however think that a monthly check in especially when doing an activity like this is important so that I can gage results.

Let’s see the last few tasks I completed where to organize my schedule to include time for the prescribed workouts and I took time to go over the first weeks meal plan. Unfortunately there is no vegan plan so I have to go with the vegetarian and make swap outs. This is the one thing I haven’t cared for with the program because I ended up having to take about 45-60 minutes to rework my meal plan for the month so that it was dairy and egg free and I had to make my own shopping list because once you customize your own meal plan your shopping list they provide you is useless.

So here I am at my last task before the official start of the program; I need to say it out loud. So now I have. I am committing to this program and I am ready for a change. I am ready to commit to myself and to improving my health and fitness levels.

What are you committing yourself to this month?

Dealing With Burnout

I wasn’t a pregnant runner. It was winter, I was nauseous as the time and I just had no desire to run while I was pregnant. I shouldn’t say that I did have a desire to but it just wasn’t a top priority. So instead I focused on walking, yoga, and strength training. I felt strong and healthy my entire pregnancy and it made a huge difference when it came to childbirth.


Now this isn’t a post about childbirth or pregnancy but rather what comes after. I had these grand ideas of running (well run/walking) my first half in November only 4 months postpartum. I figured I could do it. I had been active my entire pregnancy and I was a fit mama so why couldn’t I? Well I didn’t heal so quickly and the dreams of my first half were over.

In December I found out we would be moving so of course the first thing I did was look for a race to run. I found the Hippie Chick Quarter Marathon and decided that would be my race. I received a comped race admission thanks to Brooks. We moved and after that chaos settled down I started to train. I actually got back into running much more easily than I had imagined and it felt good. I was running 4-5 days per week and cross training. I was pushing myself hard because I knew that I couldn’t back out on this race.


The race came and I had an amazing time but as soon as that race was over so was my desire to run. I had pushed myself so hard for 4 months straight that I just lost all desire. I was burnt out. The idea of lacing up my running shoes made me cringe. I would force myself to get out and run but I had no heart for it. I didn’t want to be there. I dreaded every mile. Finally by mid June I just stopped cold Turkey. I needed a break. Unfortunately this break resulted in me hardly working out at all.

After two months of not taking the BOB out for even a walk (okay for about a month of that the tire was flat and Neil and I were to lazy to get it fixed) I finally took it out. As soon as I started walking I WANTED to run. I surprised myself and it felt good. The only thing is when you take nearly 3 months off from running you kind of lose all that endurance you built up and my desire to run miles turned into about a quarter of a mile. Now that my desire to run is back I’m easing in slowly and going back to the basics, back to Couch to 5k. I’m ready to get back running but I don’t want to suffer from burn out again. So for the next 9 weeks it’s all about Couch to 5k and taking it slow and easy.


Q: Have you ever suffered from burnout?