Running and Fitness 2015 – My Highlights, My Bloopers, My Gear 

The Events: To the best of my memory, I raced eight 5ks, one 5-miler, one 10k, four half marathons, one marathon and two obstacle course Spartan Races (the Sprint and Beast).   I also competed in the CrossFit Games Open, Austin Fittest Challenge, the Zilker Relays and a CrossFit event called “Sprint & Snatch.”   Loved them all!

Most Unexpected Race Win:  In October, I was the first OVERALL winner of the Hill Country Half Marathon in Marble Falls, Texas. Granted, the field wasn’t Rock ‘n Roll marathon kind of huge, but that being said, I beat all the women and the MEN with my scrawny legs — the hills were some of the worst I’ve ever seen (not kidding, one went upward for at least half a mile).Jennifer Fisher winner 2015 Hill Country Half Marathon

Craziest Conditions in a Race: The Spartan Beast Dallas was not what I was planning for, it was crazy! With a half marathon being in my wheelhouse, I expected to nail this Spartan Beast Dallas Sand Bag Carryrace — but unforeseen Texas flooding delayed the start for hours and created a running situation in ankle deep mud the entire distance. I was sore the next day in some pretty weird places!  Although hoping to do better, I managed to pull off a 2nd place podium finish in the Elite Master division (and it was only my 2nd Spartan, and first “beast”).

Most Unusual Prize Won in a 2015 Race: A $250 gift card for a tattoo! I am no saying if, when and where I used it! :-)

Best Pre and Post Race Festivities at a Race:  Hosted by Health and Cooking Light magazines, The Fit Foodie Run in Austin (but also in Fairfax, Chicago and San Diego) proves that a healthy lifestyle can mesh with culinary enthusiasm!  The weekend is packed with celebrity chef tasting, food and fitness interactive demos, yoga sessions, and yoga boot camps – there is so much food! Plus, the goodies and samples you get to take home from the after run are some serious healthy nom-noms – bring a big bag!

Best Running & Fitness Moments on Instagram: Of course, I blew up my @thefitfork profile with photos of my favorite yoga poses and running with friends!

Favorite Women-centric Race: I’ve been an ambassador for Zooma Race Series for 4 or 5 years now and have run that hilly Austin-area half marathon and said – “never again” at the finish line. But, after I catch my breath a few minutes later, I’m like Jennifer Fisher at Zooma Texas 2014“awesome, that was the best race ever despite the course challenges.” The Austin race is now defunct, but the other fabulous locations across the country beckon for a mini-vacation! Created and run by women, this race focuses on females supporting each other, no matter age, ability or life situation – and the weekends make great girlfriend getaways!  My mom and I have made a tradition of it! Even though I’ve been in a role to mentor and support the runners, I can’t tell you how much more energy and inspiration I’ve received from them – always so happy to see those smiles and high-fives at the half-marathon turnaround.

Favorite Yoga Pose:  Always the Crow or some variation! Hopefully this time next year, my hamstrings and back will be more bendy and stretchy so my Instagram profile can be more well-rounded! Jennifer Fisher TheFitFork.com Yoga Crow Pose

Running / Workout Injuries: Thankfully, nothing serious this year – eg. no stitches, concussions or pulled rib muscles like last year! Only falling off a box doing the Murph CrossFit WOD and spraining ankle, numerous palm tears, one lost toenail . . . looking for some wood to knock on!   Despite the healthy year for me, I did write a helpful post on 4 Ways Sports Injuries Build Better Athletes that will keep all of us focused on end goals.

Weirdest Workout Moment: It would have to be working out with watermelons for the second summer in a row on my #LivingOnTheWedge blog series!  I CrossFitted with watermelon, ran with watermelon, and even worked out in the swimming pool with a watermelon! Oh, you don’t want to miss that watermelon pool workout video – please make sure you are wearing Depends. On behalf of the National Watermelon Promotion Board, I will be taking the show on the road at IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo in L.A. in July 2016. Summer Squat Challenge -- Do 100 squats per day from this mix an match list!

Best Blooper(s):  Oh, there are a lot of bloopers and outakes, my phone is filled with them!  Practicing on the parallettes is cause for crashing on my face or rear, but still it’s fun.  There are also some awkward moments coming out of a handstand in a walkover when my old back decides “no” midway through! 

More Bloopers: Because research shows you live longer if you laugh. Yoga and Fitness Bloopers from TheFitFork.com

Favorite Running and Workout Gear / Fuel:  Vim & Vigr Compression Socks (super functional , fashionable and fun  in a variety of stripes, polka dots and fun patterns), Altra Running Shoes (I love the super lightweight, zero-drop “The Ones” ) and Nuun for my hydration needs  — I’m digging their  fairly new product called PLUS for Nunn. Unlike regular Nuun that is virtually calorie free (there are a few, but under 10), PLUS provides a boost with fast absorbing performance carbohydrates that keep me hydrated and provide quickly sourced energy for demanding endurance events.  Also, I still love my bottle of Core Power High Protein Shake in Chocolate Lite Flavor for 20g of quality protein to help my muscles recover right after a long run or intense workout. My Running and Workout Must Haves

I’m also really appreciating mobility gear from ACUMOBILITY – a great company that I connected with this year at The Running Event that not only makes rollers and other mobility products, but also assesses, corrects and unifies movement to reduce injuries and unlock improved performance.   Stay tuned because I will be having an awesome giveaway at the beginning of January! And, for “on the go” rolling, I really love The Original Worm (based right here in Austin).

Most Used Mantra: When times get tough in a race, I break out the “If you can take it, you can make it” line from Unbroken. Or, when I try to get too controlling about stuff  –  “Where are you?  Here. What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment.” – from Dan Millman’s book , “The Way of the Peaceable Warrior”  Both books are so inspirational — read them!

Favorite Kettle Bell Workout:

20 Minute Kettle Bell Blaster

My Best Way to Stay Motivated: When I start to feel burned out, I take an active fun day! And, always more crazy with my friend Valerie (by the way, she’s an internationally known running coach, not kidding — check her out at @runrx ) 

What are your fitness favorites from 2015?! Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

How I Wormed my Way to a Turkey Trot Win + Giveaway

The Original Worm - Rolling Body MassagerI’m just sharing a day from my Thanksgiving – it’s all good and I’m giving thanks and feeling blessed!  The morning started with a run – the Thundercloud Turkey Trot (5 miles) in downtown Austin. Well, let’s back that up, it actually started with a worm – The Original Worm. The Original Worm is a massaging body roller that provides trigger point release to combat stiffness, pain and stress in muscles and joints – I’m hosting a giveaway and one of you will win your very own — so keep reading on!

Forearm Stand Variation - TheFitFork.omSo, why might I need to worm? Ha, have you looked at my Instagram profile! On Tuesday I was at the gym, and after my workout I thought I’d wind down with some yoga – it didn’t go as planned. While up in a forearm stand variation, I was taken down my a writhing, hideous calf cramp –  I was trying not to howl and cry in public and after it passed, it felt like I had pulled the muscle. Plus, my hammies and glutes were still super tight from an 8 x 800m marathon workout two days prior.

Thundercloud Turkey Trot 2015 - Jennifer Fisher

The Original Worm GiveawayThe early bird gets the worm –and I’m not kidding. I’ve been putting my way-too-early mornings to productive use with this therapeutic tool – it’s like cross between a foam roller and tennis balls wrapped up in neoprene (pink or black).  At first I was a little freaked out I wouldn’t be able to run the Turkey Trot on strained calf and tight glute. But, after rolling, whacking and a little wiggling, I was able to get rid of all my kinks before lining up on the start. In the end, the Turkey Trot went pretty well despite some rain and muggy conditions – out of a field of 20,000 participants, I trotted away with 7th overall female and 1st overall Master – and my calf kink is gone.

Of course, The Original Worm is a great recover aid too, and worming after a race or intense workout is a preventative measure for stress out muscles. It comes in a carrying pouch and both sizes are small enough to stick in a gym back, but big enough to get the job done.  Just look at all the things The Original Worm can do!

worm collage

So, if you run, Crossfit, yoga, rock climb, parkour, obstacle course race, play basketball, soccer or football, you definitely need one of these WORMS – it’s like having a massage therapist on hand at all times. Also perfect for travel – I use it for relief on plane flights or when stuck at a standstill in my car during rush hour! Oh, and this company is Austin-based which makes me love it even more!

Enter to win your own Worm via the Rafflecopter app below. Also, check out The Original Worm website to get the specs on the two sizes, colors, care instructions, more uses and such. Enter by Dec. 11, 2015! In the meantime, order a few to give as holiday gifts to your fitness friends!

Also, I have another giveaway going on right now for a $25 Visa Gift Card, check that out too – that one ends December 3, 2015.

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Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites Recipe #BehindTheMuscle

This post is sponsored by Isopure, but recipe, editorial remarks & enthusiasm are all mine!Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites TitleI was looking for a snack to take on a trail run the other day and just wasn’t happy with the packaged options available. I wanted something that would offer me enough quality carbohydrates to keep my body moving, but also protein for sustained energy and muscle recovery. It was going to be a long day – I also had a big workout planned later in the day. I needed to avoid nuts, wanted a snack that was good for my guts, and was in the mood for tart and tangy, something completely different that the normal chocolate and caramel concoctions. A big order!

Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites using Isopure AminosI ended up making my own concoction, Tangy Cranberry Grape Protein Bites — perfection and just what I “ordered”!  Made with a whey protein isolate and Isopure Amino Acids, I knew my workout snack was going to give me quality nutrition for muscle recover and building – especially with those BCAAs.

Drinking Isopure Aminos right after my workout has been really helping with muscle recovery! I’ve blogged about the Isopure Amino Acids before, I love this product – not only does it taste great, it features everything I need for head-to-toe recovery including all the branch chain amino acids ( BCAAs) to help me make more of my muscles, but also tart cherry to ward off inflammation and L-theanine for a calm and relaxed mind.

Other nutrition perks of these on-the-go energy protein bites? Lots of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C) and quality carbs to keep the engine revved on high. Not only are the unsweetened cranberries and drizzle of honey a good, dense source of carbs for any high-energy sport, the unmodified protein powder used serves the dual purpose of binder and beneficial resistant starch.

So, what am I talking about when I say unmodified potato starch is a “resistant starch”? It’s a type of prebiotic starch that “resists” digestion and prevents spikes in blood glucose and insulin.  As a type of prebiotic (aka, and digestible carb), it helps to establish and support good gut health – the right environment for gut bacteria. Studies are also suggesting that resistant starches may also help contribute to weight loss through lowered blood sugar spikes, decreased appetite, lessened fat storage in fat cells and preservation of lean muscle mass. There are many kids of resistant starches, but unmodified (aka, raw) potato starch is a reliable and easy-to use option (the Bob’s Red Mill brand is sold at most stores). Anyway, all the science is a little over my head, but I thought this article How Resistant Starch Will Help to Make You Healthier and Thinner  at ChrisKresser.com was very helpful in understanding.

Tart Cranberry Grape Protein Bites using Isopure Aminos

Tangy Cranberry Grape Protein Bites

  1. Add cranberries, honey and water to work bowl of food processor and process for 1 -2 minutes, or until cranberries very, very finely chopped up and sticky.
  2. In large bowl, mix together protein powder, amino powder and potato starch until combined.
  3. Add dry mixture to cranberry mixture about ½ cups at a time, processing each time until incorporated. Dough should be forming up into a big ball with some crumbling back down. If mixture still looks too sticky, process in 1 tablespoon of potato starch at a time until desired results are achieved.
  4. Roll into 24 bite-sized balls approximately 1-inch in diameter. May be left out in gym bag, but store in refrigerator overnight for best freshness.

Quick Macros Per Bite: 50 calories, 7g protein, 18g total carb (0.3g sugar), 0.125g fat, 12% DV Vitamin C,

 

Hope you get a chance to make this easy protein bite recipe for your next run or workout. They pack really well in a little zip top bag that you can take wherever you go, they don’t melt or fall apart or “go bad” sitting out all day. Stash a handful of these recovery treats in a fuel belt, pocket or gym bag and then feel free to KILL that workout knowing all your post exercise nutrition needs will be met in a few little “bites”. Also, check out Isopure BCAAs and all the other clean, lean quality protein products they offer.

Do you have a homemade workout snack? Have you ever heard of resistant starches? Did you run a race, have a fitness competition, do something else fabulous this weekend? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Summer Perfect Partner Watermelon WOD #LivingOnTheWedge

first watermelon of 2015What’s the point of bringing a big, yummy watermelon home from the market if you need help getting it out of the basket, into the car and up the garage stairs to the fridge?  “No thanks, I’ve got this,” is what I tell the twerp well-meaning bag boy who always tries to help. Hey, I’m not just your ordinary produce-shopping mom  – I’m a fruit-loving foodie who’s turned herself a lean, mean lifting machine thanks to adding functional exercise (aka CrossFit) into my workout routine about three or four years ago.

TheFitFork.com Living On The Wedge

TheFitFork.com Living On The Wedge

While I don’t care to set records or go for “max” when lifting weights (nor could I) during a CrossFit WOD, I do feel like adding weight to my workout regimen has helped me tremendously as a runner, an athlete and busy working mom who’s just living her crazy life and might be getting a little older in the process.  Last year for my summer of #LivingOnTheWedge, I shared a CrossFit inspired Watermelon Workout – I’ll never forget swinging a 25 pound watermelon kettle bell style and having it fly out of my hands across the yard. Oops!  And, who could forget the Watermelon Pool Workout from earlier this summer – I certainly know the swimmers grinding out their laps that morning I filmed it had something to talk about!Why not workout with a Watermelon - this WOD  will whip you and friend in shape and you have a healthy snack for afterward!

This month, I’ve created a Partner Watermelon WOD  that lets you share pleasure and pain of working out with a friend who loves watermelon as much as you!

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Partner Watermelon WOD (8 Sets of the Following):

  • (6 Reps) Watermelon Burpee-Squat Handoff: One partner does a traditional burpee while the other partner simultaneously squats with a watermelon – then the watermelon is handed off for the next rep.
  • (6 reps) Watermelon Box Step Up: One partner steps up with watermelon at chest or held straight overhead while other partner uses small watermelon for Russian Twists (12 to 20 twists, or until box step ups done). Partners switch off and perform repeat exercises.
  • 200 Meter Run or Walk: holding watermelon at chest.

You may be laughing at the video, but watermelon makes a great piece of workout equipment in a pinch – you can lift it, swing it, jump over it, squat with it and more. Plus, you can purchase them in a variety of weights – the smaller “personal-sized” melons are awesome.  If you didn’t get enough workout inspiration, here’s a Summer Squat Challenge to get your rear in gear – of course, use a watermelon for your weighted squats!

Summer Squat Challenge -- Do 100 squats per day from this mix an match list!

Scoop into a personal sized watermelon this summer -- 92 percent water and the perfect way to stay hydrated.Working out with a watermelon isn’t so crazy when you start seeing the results of this muscle-making melon  – plus, who can argue with gobbling it up as a nutritious snack afterward?!  Made of 92% water, watermelon is obviously hydrating. But did you know the fruit can help you with workout recovery? A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry reports that drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helps to reduce an athlete’s heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon has an abundance of an important amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, to help with blood vessel dilation and improved circulation.

I’m winning at this watermelon workout thing and to the victor comes the spoils – at that is first dibs at devouring the watermelon!   Okay, okay, I’ll split it up fairly between my workout friends!

About to share watermelon with my Cross friends - Jennifer Fisher, thefitfork.com

About to enjoy the fruits of our efforts! Sharing watermelon with my Cross friends

  • The average size of a watermelon from the market is about 20 -25 lbs. Guesstimate the weight of the biggest one you’ve ever brought home – 47 pounds for me! 
  • What are you doing to work up a sweat this summer – other than just stepping outdoors?!

Share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

Ignite MY Fight! Running Shoes, WOD and CrossFit Games Open

Jumping in Bluebonnets Puma IgnitesWhy am I jumping the in bluebonnets? Well, for a couple reasons – it’s finally spring and the sun is OUT, the 5-week CrossFit Games Open is OVER (mini recap below) and I have a snappy new pair of running shoes to keep my feet happy and hopping.

Puma Ignite Running Shoes in Austin Spring Flowers Trail Run

Puma Ignite Running ShoesFirst, let me tell you about the shoes – love them! They are called Puma Ignite, a super responsive running shoe that features cushioning to disperse impact while providing energy return to help make me faster. Usain Bolt wears them, so enough said!  The uppers are not only attractive and available in a range of color combos, but these shores are made with lightweight materials to provide a super comfort with a light ride – the average weight is 8 ounces.  As a neutral and efficient runner, I often run in really light shoes for speed work and shorter tempo runs – but definitely enjoy the little extra oomph of these Puma Ignites for everyday runs through the neighborhood and logging lots of miles on the road. I’ve also worn these shoes to the gym and Crossfit and have found them to provide enough cushioning combined with flexibility for explosive box jumps, burpees and jumping rope.

Speaking of CrossFit, here’s my quick rundown on the 2015 Crossfit Games Open that just ended a week ago.  First of all, I swallowed my pride and I decided to compete in the new scaled division this year and am so glad I did. Last year, in a couple of the RX’d WODs, I just plain ran into a wall where I physically could not perform the task – mainly, I’m talking about the heavier Olympic lifting. For example, last year I remember on the deadlift ladder, I knocked off the sets of 95lb, 135lb and even 155lb deadlifts, but then had to just stand there and watch the clock tick away helplessly because there was no way I could deadlift 185 lbs once, let alone the 20 times I needed to get back to the box jumps.

2015 CrossFit Games Leaderboard - Jennifer Fisher

Jennifer Fisher 2015 CrossFit Games OpenSo, my point here is that in the scaled division I was actually able to get after it in the workouts for a maximum personal effort  – that made it much more fun (if one can call quivering quads, raw palms and sore-for-days shoulders “fun”)!  It was still HARD! The exiting part is that at the end of the five weeks, I actually placed 12th in the South Central states region in my age group and even won 1st in the 15.3 WOD!  My worst workout by far (and really hurt me in the rankings) was the 15.1B where after completing a full workout, you immediately had to get the bar overhead with a max load. I never expected how trashed my arms would be and I really failed on this one –  I also rarely try to PR any of my lifts (usually just keeping everything low with lots of reps).  Next year I know what I need to focus on!

Are you ready to IGNITE your next workout?  I’ve put together this Don’t Stop (Ignite Your Fight) Workout that will test your stamina and strength, both mental and physical. Don’t stop, don’t give up half way through — you’ll be on fire, but in a good way!  Also, check out the Puma Ignite running shoes if you are looking for a great pair that will take you from a morning run to an afternoon at the gym.  Don't Stop Workout - Ignite your fight in this CrossFit style workout from TheFitFork.com

 

Do you wear the same shoes for running and working out — or do you buy activity-specific footwear? Please share in the comments!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.

How To Make Burpees Fun – Did I Really Just Say That?!

How to Make Burpees More Fun - 5 Variations

Notice the headline reads “How to Make Burpees More Fun,” not “How to Make Burpees Easier.” There is just no way around the truth that this full-body, functional exercise is a a tough one – I’ve seen grown men hurl. String a bunch of burpees together and your heart rate will sky rocket and the muscles of your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core will be screaming for sweet mother mercy. Why do you think the burpee is a go-to conditioning exercise at military boot camp, police and special ops training, and football team practice?!  Because burpees get results!

However, seeing the same old burpee sets programmed into your workout can almost feel like a punishment, am I right? One way I like to make this exercise a bit more bearable (maybe FUN isn’t the right word) is by creating an interesting variation – like piggybacking on another element to create a compound exercise or doing them with a partner to create a good laugh.  Here are my five favorite takes on this essential exercise:

Disclaimer, most of these videos are sped up in double time so that you will be spared the misery of me slogging them out in real time!

Burpee Power Jack:  Drop into plank position of burpee and then simultaneously jump both feet outward past width of shoulders.  While still in plank jump feet back in and pop up from burpee to finish one rep.

Partner Leap Frog Burpee:  Grab a friend and stand shoulder to shoulder. First person drops into a plank position (or rests chest down on the ground) while second person performs a lateral tuck jump over planking person’s torso.  Upon landing, jumper drops into a burpee and then pops up, lateral jumps back over friend to start position, and drops into a plank himself.  First person now pops up from plank and takes his turn lateral jumping over second person, performing full burpee, and then jumping back over and dropping to plank.  Repeat until worn out.

Burpee Box Jump: Stand facing box or platform of a comfortable height (I do 20 to 24-inches), make sure you are a body-length distance away if you like your face. Drop into a burpee push-up, pop back up, hop toward box and then jump with both feet landing on the box. Jump off backward, hop backward to the burpee start position for one rep.

Burpee Pull Up: Stand under pull-up and drop into burpee with or without push-up.  Pop up from burpee and immediately jump to bar with both hands and pull up until chin clears bar. Land on ground in start position to finish rep.

Burpee Tuck Jump: Drop down into burpee with or with-out push up and pop back up. Instead of the little hop and hand clap that comes with a traditional burpee finish, jump explosively upward with both feet, tucking knees toward chest.  Land in the standing start position to finish one rep.

Soooo . . .do you have a favorite way to burpee? Challenge me in the comments please!

 

Compression Gear Saved My Butt on CrossFit WOD 15.1 and #TommieCopper Giveaway

Tommie Copper for CrossFit - thefitfork.com

Celebrating the finish of CrossFit Games Open WOD 15.1

Trampoline Straddle Jump - TheFitFork.comLast year I discovered Tommie Copper, a fabulous fitness wear brand for all my active endeavors like running, CrossFit, yoga and jumping around on the trampoline like a fool. Tommie Copper was founded in 2010 as a natural solution for reaching peak performance by speeding along muscle and joint recovery through compression. Whoohoo, I love me some compression! The unique hook of Tommie Cooper is that their compression and active fit (not so tight) lines of performance apparel are fashioned from fabric infused with high density activated copper. Not only does the proprietary copper fabric serve as an anti-bacterial agent, it also releases ions which may help reduce harmful oxidants in the body. Tommie Copper Women's Workout Outfit - TheFitFork.com

CrossFit Games Open WOD 15.1

Recently they sent me an outfit to wear for one of my WODs in the CrossFit Games Open. It was so cute that I naturally had to wear it on the first workout, WOD 15.1.  This workout was a 9-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 15 toes-to-bar, 10 deadlifts and 5 snatches. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details of strategy, but the quick story is I decided to do the “scaled” workout because this skinny chick could not handle the prescribed 75lb snatches. If I couldn’t even do one, it meant I’d have to stand there and watch the clock run – it happened to me in one of the workouts last year. So, instead I strategically decided to do the scaled version with slightly lighter weight and go for max reps – and I did get a lot!

tommie copper outfit catalog

I was so happy to have the Performance Compression Fold-Over Shorts on to give me some extra support around my core and keep the lactic acid rushing in as a knocked out 74 deadlifts and 35 clean and jerks in that 9 minutes (not to mention the bar work). They were so comfortable, no rubbing on the ergonomic seams at all and the super wide waist band folds over as low or as high as needed for extra compression. I stayed in them for a couple hours afterward for recovery! The Performance Active Fit Racer Back Tank is also a winner, I’ve worn this top before in white and it’s one of those light, quick-drying tops you don’t even notice you have on (that’s a good thing) and the pomegranate heather color is so pretty!

GIVEAWAY!!!!!! 

I’d love for one of you to try one of the products from the Tommie Copper line (they also have men’s stuff for the guys) and I’m giving away a $50 gift code. Please enter through the Rafflecopter app below.

This post and giveaway is sponsored by TommieCopper.com. However, they did not tell me what to say or how to say it; all opinions and comments are my own.

 

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Cute Run and Fitness Accessories #Giveaway + Sit-Up Handstand Exercise

Runner Girl Accessories Giveaway - TheFitFork.comThe holidays are a month behind us now and I’m getting a little nostalgic for giving gifts!  That’s why I’ve put together a collection of fitness-inspired accessories that any girl would enjoy for her run or workout. Several of these companies I met at The Running Event trade show in Austin this past December and they were kind enough to give me products to sample and then extra to give away to one of you!  There are five fun little treats in this giveaway (entry at bottom of post):

Vim and vigr logo Vim & Vigr Compression Socks I didn’t know about this company that makes stylish and effective compression socks until just a couple months ago. So happy to have found them! Vim & Vigr socks are cute and perfect to wear during a run or workout as well as to keep your legs alive if you’re stuck all day travelling or behind a desk. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I count on compression socks for performance and muscle recovery – they help to increase oxygen delivery, decrease lactic acid, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue – especially after a hard work out (oh, and I have a fun exercise for you to add to your workouts at the bottom of this post).  Vim & Vigr is my new favorite with so many fun styles for women and men, including the Women’s Navy & Cobalt (size M) that I am giving away.

vim vigr socks

Great for the gym or CrossFit, too!

momentum designs that move youMomentum Designs That Move You – I love how this 20+ year old jewelry company was inspired to create their Momentum fitness line – while looking at a bare wrist during an extremely long and torturous plank. Words of motivation were needed (I can relate) and the Motivate Wrap was born.

live joyfully bracelet I’m giving away the “Live Joyfully” rectangle motivate wrap, but there are lots of other inspiring choices as well as other products including Foot Notes (inspirational jewelry for your exercise shoes), suede cuffs, necklaces and more.

bondi band logo

 

 

 

Bondi Band Headband this company makes a lot of fun and functional fitness accessories and I am a fan of the moisture-wicking headbands.  Why do I like them, lots of reasons!  First, these fitness headbands keep sweat from dripping down into my eyes and the thin fabric dries quickly. Second, they are wide enough to keep all the bangs, fringes and wild hairs I have from falling into my face while working out (being tickled by my own hair during times of exercise stress is one of my biggest pet peeves). Third, the come in nearly every color and fun phrase combination and you can even place custom orders.

Motivational Magnet – This “I’ll be Thelma, You be Louise’ vintage-inspired magnet makes me laugh. I thought it would be a fun little accessory to stick on your fridge or front to remind you to hit the road and make a run for it. Also, did you know that there is actually a Thelma & Louise Half Marathon? It’s June 5th in Moab, Utah . . . . I may have to do this one!

Swankies Heart Tissues – You never know when you’ll need to blow your know and please don’t do it on the sleeve of your running jacket.  This small little pack of tissues easily fits in a pocket so you can wipe up (anything) on a long run – I pick hearts because I “heart” running and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Looking for a way to mix up your workout — try these “Stand Up” Sit Up to Hand Stands I’m demo-ing with my friend Valerie.

“Stand Up” Sit Up to Hand Stand –  This has been a favorite exercise of mine now for quite a while, it’s just fun once you get the hang of it. It’s a moderately advanced compound move that uses core power and explosive strength for the stand-up sit-up and shoulders, core and balance for the handstand. A huge test of fitness is if you can get out of a seated position without using your arms to push off the floor, and this exercise works best with the momentum of rolling backward into the sit up– but it may take a while to get there.  Watch the video, if you are having trouble, break the exercise down into 2 parts – 1) lay on back with feet about two feet from a wall. Roll back and then sit up explosively into standing position in one fluid motion. If this is too hard, sit up and use hands as needed to push off the floor. 2) From standing position, kick or straddle jump into handstand position. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and then kick down, sitting down immediately to begin another sit up. Try for 3 sets of 10 reps, but stop if you start feeling dizzy.
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