Endurance + Speed Marathon Workout and Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Review

jen-jumping-mizuoWhen something is so good that it’s been repeated through 20 seasons, that’s saying something special. In December, I’ll be reflecting on 20 years of celebrating Christmas as a mom or mom-to-be, two decades of my dad’s delicious holiday tenderloin and running my 20th marathon. Mizuno is also celebrating a special benchmark, it’s the 20th edition of their best-selling shoe, the Wave Rider 20!

Evolution of the Mizuno Wave Rider from Mizuno USA on Vimeo.

Admittedly, I haven’t worn all 20 iterations of this running shoe (although quite a few), it’s amazing that the basic concept has resonated with loyal fans through the ups and downs of running shoe design – and I say that quite literally in terms of all the cyclical changes in heel drop and rise! After nearly two decades of refinement, this latest version of the Wave Rider claims to “exceed all expectations.” Mizuno Wave Rider 20Does it, will it?! Only the miles will tell . . . . so I slipped into the Wave Rider 20 and logged a few! Lucky thing I had some running to do with the San Antonio Marathon right around the corner!  My workout today was this Endurance + Speed Run Workout — a challenging 10 mile running workout that takes you from a manageable marathon pace to a fast and furious 5k pace finish. This long speed workout will get you used to running with leg fatigue so that you will nail your next big race!

This Endurance + Speed 10 Mile Workout will get you strong and fast for a marathon.

Well, my feet were definitely happy after a long run – sometimes my high instep and arch makes shoes uncomfortable and sometimes even feel like they’re going numb. Nope, not in these. While I’m not a heel-striker, I still felt comfortable landing mid-foot despite the 12mm rise. I did appreciate that these were a “moderate: cushion shoe but only weight about 8 ounces, sometimes on longer runs my feet feel beat up in super “nothing” shoes – I need just a bit of cushion!

Guys and gals, you each have three color choices in these snazzy shoes – honestly, I liked some of the guy colors a lot and was a little jealous! They run about $119 full retail and debuted in mid October – pick up your pair at your local running store (and support Small Business Saturday) or online at Mizuno.com

Here are some official improvements on an immutably amazing running shoe, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20:

  • Cloudwave: The shoe’s new cloudwave geometry provides a softer, smoother, more gentle ride with improved cushion on initial heel impact & better guidance in the transition from heel to forefoot.
  • U4ic Midsole: You’ll feel “euphoric” (that’s how you pronounce U4ic) over the more responsive, softer feeling midsole that offers a longer-lasting ride.
  • Engineered Mesh: Not only does the running shoe look sleek and fast, the new engineered zone-specific mesh construction provides a seamless and light fit that goes almost unnoticed on the feet.

Are you a Wave Rider fan? How many have you had?  What race / event are you currently training for? What is your dream shoe color combo? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Moreo Blondie Bars Loaded with Yum + Cookie Recipes

Moreo Kitchen Sink Blondies - TheFitFork.comIf MORE means “a greater or additional amount,” then my Moreo Blondie Bars have more MORE! This delicious treat is overflowing with a greater amount of good things than I typically eat at once – like Oreo cookies, M&Ms, chocolate chips, lots of butter and sugar.  Even though I preach clean eating most of the time, the holiday season is not the time to say “NO” to festive, frivolous and nourishment of dubious (yet delicious) quality – Halleluiah!  You HAVE to read on after the recipe to see my brother’s awesome idea of MORE – it’s a Cherblumpkin!

Moreo Blondie Bar Cookies with Oreos and Candy - TheFitFork.com

So, if you’re making Christmas cookies at home, these Moreo Blondie Bars are very easy to make – just mix up the ingredients and plop in the pan. I highly recommend lining the baking dish in foil before adding the batter. When baked and cooled, simply lift out the by the foil edges and then neatly slice into bars. If you don’t want to go whole hog, check out my recipe for The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie – it’s a classic.Moreo Blondie Cookie Bar with Milk - TheFitFork.com

Moreo Blondie Bar Recipe

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 15 double stuffed chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely broken
  • 1 cup broken pretzel pieces
  • ½ cup M & M candies
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Add sugars and stir until combined and then mix in eggs.
  3. Stir in baking soda, salt and flour until combined, but don’t over mix.
  4. Mix in crushed cookies, pretzels, candies and chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
  5. Line 9” x 13” baking pan with foil; spray foil with cooking spray.
  6. Add dough to pan, patting down with fingers or spatula.
  7. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until edges and top turning light golden brown and center looks set.
  8. Let cool completely in pan.  Remove contents from pan by lifting foil. Peel sides of foil back and cut into 12 bars.

Cherblumpkin Cake - Cherry on Blueberry on Pumpkin

Here it is . . . .the Cherblumpkin! It’s a cherry pie stacked on a blueberry pie stacked on a pumpkin pie – frosted to look like a layer cake. The contest was for Cherpumpple (cherry-pumkin-apple),but my little brother shook up the system with his heart stopper of a pie-cake hybrid, so proud of him.

Cherblumpkin - Cherry Blueberry Pumpkin Pie Cake









Virtual-Cookie-Exchange-recipes-galoreIf you need more holiday goodie ideas, the Fitfluential ambassadors having a Virtual Cookie & Treat Link Up. Lots of goodness here, recipes to suit both sensible and sinful cookie bakers!

What’s your favorite holiday baked item — please share?

My World Record Wall Sit Attempt and #FFWallSit Challenge

wall sit guinness square

Okay, it was awkward and humiliating enough to be in sixth grade let alone be denied the glory of one the most significant demonstrations of mental and physical strength I have accomplished to date. I’m talking about “sitting on the wall” or as some people used to call it back in the day, “Sampson’s Chair” – and I was a champion. If you look beyond the clumsy legs that were at the time too long for my body and the bookworm personality (and also ignore the 70s style angel-sleeve shirt and Tony Tennille haircut), what lurked inside my heart was a 12 year old girl who wasn’t going to give up – NO MATTER WHAT!

Lots of letters to Guinness Book of World Records

Lots of letters to Guinness Book of World Records

My elementary school had an annual Olympics for the 6th graders and I was out to win the wall sit – gymnastics had made my legs pretty strong and I didn’t have any reason to think I couldn’t match the previous year’s record of 25 minutes. Well, I hung in there for 1 hour and 36 minutes until the school nurse made me quit (apparently worried about the Arizona heat and all) . . . . I got my picture in the Tempe Daily News and, more importantly, got out of math and social studies class!

The event was so epic (notice the two boys feeling inferior in the background) that my teacher decided to submit it Guinness Book of World Records (notice the old fashioned typing and air-mail envelopes circa 1978). Anyway, although the record was “impressive,” Guinness did not choose to publish my notarized and media-confirmed “claim” because in 1978 the publisher decided that “wall sitting” didn’t have enough “widespread and preferably international” appeal to warrant creating such an inaugural entry. Well, fast-forward 11 years, I was casually flipping through the famous record book and came across a world record entry for Sampson’s Chair (wall sit) that had made it into print– some guy held the title for about 5 or so minutes LESS than me!

I still have the Wall Sit Winner trophy from 6th grade!

I still have the Wall Sit Winner trophy from 6th grade!

I was robbed and a flurry of air mail letters flew back and forth in protest (this was still before email)!  In the end, because my head wasn’t in “exactly the same position” (uh, because I was posing for a picture, duh) my claim couldn’t compare to the record holder’s accomplishment – so they said.  Apples to apples, I agree – but, I just think they didn’t want the tough looking dude with a snazzy uniform and digital clock overhead being upstaged by a little girl at recess. Oh well, I’m over it. REALLY – I’m over it, because apparently now the world record for “static wall sit” is over 11 hours!!!!  Plus, I still have my trophy –  and, it’s a true treasure because it’s from back in the day when kids didn’t get a trophy every time they showed up to be on a team or “participated” in an event. This one was EARNED with burning, quivering quads!

wall sit demo with med ball

I still like to do this isometric exercise as a way to keep my legs strong for running, CrossFit and our ski trips in the winter. There are a ton of different variations – two of my favorites are Marching Wall Sits and Medicine Ball Wall Sits (above).  For this med ball version, pick a ball that you can comfortably handle – probably somewhere between 6 to 12 pounds, depending on your arm strength. Keeping your back straight against the wall and legs bent into a 90 degree angle at the knee (with knees about 2 feet apart), grasp ball and lift straight in front of you with arms straight. Alternate rotating arms from left wall, back to center, and then to right wall. Do as many of these at an even pace as you can while holding the wall sit for 1 minute; repeat for three sets total. As you increase your strength extend the time of your sets – eg. 90 seconds, 120 seconds, etc.

fitfluential wall sit challengeSo, are you ready for more? Fitfluential in conjunction with Reebok are having a Wall Sit Challenge for September – it’s not too late to get in on the action! Join the challenge on a special Facebook page and invite your friends – accountability is a huge part of getting through any challenge! There is also a giveaway for a pair of Reebok Nano 4.0s (I review them here) and a Reebok top or shorts.  Use hashtag #FFWallSit on Twitter and Instagram to share your hard work and make new fitness friends!

Is this exercise in your repertoire, if not – what is your favorite leg exercise? Have you ever been unjustly treated in a sporting event? Would you just rather sit than wall sit? Let me know in the comments below:

Sayonara Sprint Partner Running Workout and Mizuno Running Wave® Sayonara Review

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. Now that that declaration is out of the way, I have to say that I love running and I extra-super love getting new running shoes — especially when the kicks are pink and from a brand that has served me well. Thank you Mizuno for the new Mizuno Wave® Sayonara running shoes; these little beauties will be helping me run pretty and pretty fast all summer long!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - mizuno wave sayonara fast girls

I’ve had some experience with some of the newer products in the company’s lineup, having run in the both the Mizuno Wave Evo Cursaris (6.2 oz) and the Mizuno Wave Evo Levitas (5.2 oz), two products that target the minimalist, mid-foot runner like myself.  (Update: both theses shoes have been discontinued). By the way, about three years ago, I worked with Master Pose Method Coach, Valerie Hunt, to “tweak” my running form from heel-striker to mid-foot striker – I’ve had both reductions in injury (basically none) and improvements in my time (factoring for age).  Both of these shoes I just mentioned have a zero drop (or, as they say “zero ramp offset”) from heel to mid-foot, with the Levitas being lighter and closer to the ground of the two.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - mizuno sayonara flowers

Anyway, back to the new Wave® Sayonara, the shoe I am reviewing today. Mizuno is touting this shoe, which officially releases online or at a running store near on July 5th, as the “lightest everyday training shoe yet.”  The women’s version hits the scales at 7.1 ounces, making it actually not as light as the EVO line, but also not as stripped down. I’ve run in the shoes several times now, and I actually like them quite well. I definitely notice a little more structured and supportive feel than the EVO line, but they not at all clunky. In fact, I had a pretty speedy tempo workout in them yesterday and felt the ride was right-on and responsive to the feedback I like to get from strike-off. While not “zero-drop” like the EVO line, the heel to mid-foot is noticeably lower and the weight significantly lighter that some of the other popular models on the Mizuno roster including the Rider and the Precision. I would definitely consider wearing the Wave® Sayonara in a longer race like a full marathon but probably stick my current race shoe of choice, the Wave® Ronin 5 (5.8 oz) for half marathons.

Another thing I noticed and like about the Wave® Sayonara is the blow rubber sole that features lightweight yet superior traction. Not many people check out the bottom of their shoes when shopping, but I definitely do. It’s because I hate that feeling like I might slip in a race when the roads are wet from rain or high humidity. The uppers are fun, with a bright modern vibe that looks great with all my other running gear. There are rolling out on July 5th with an ARV of $119.

wave sayonara

So, if you’re looking for a fun running workout to do in your new Mizuno Wave® Sayonaras (or any running shoes you love), try my Sayonara Sprint Partner Running Workout. The idea of the interval-style workout is that one runner gets a head start on the other — sayonara sucker! After the prescribed amout of time, the second runner starts the interval, trying to catch up! While it might make for a challenging day at the track; remember, you get to share the experience with a friend which in my experience reduces the perceived effort!  If this workout doesn’t suit you, check out my One-Derful One-Mile Repeat WOD!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - mizuno wave sayonara running workout final

AFM FitTest | Reaching Goal in Under Armour’s #WhatsBeautiful 3.0 Challenge

Call me a glutton for punishment, but for the second year in a row I competed in AFM FitTest. Held out at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas this community-wide show down consists of a series of 12 professionally designed fitness tests that measure strength, endurance, balance, speed, precision, agility, and power. The event was also the conclusion of my main goal in a sponsored campaign for Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful 3.0 challenge.

A little calm before the storm! #underarmourwomen #IWill #whatsbeautiful

A little calm before the storm! #underarmourwomen #IWill #whatsbeautiful

During the #WhatsBeautiful Challenge, I had the honor of connecting with a wide range of women, both online and in person, to work together to redefine stereotypes of the female athlete. My mission, in addition to training for AFM FitTest, was to help others reach their own personal fitness goals, smash them and then set sparkling new goals dripping with newfound badassery. Two of my favorite teams have been “Fit, Fearless & Forty-something” made up of my own home girls and one of my online teams, Team Kelly Oh Yea!

So, back to the morning of battle – Saturday, June 15th.  I headed out at the crack of dawn with my husband competing in the 50-59 age group; apparently the “old guys” get to go first so they can get home early for a nap (just kidding, these guys were very well maintained if you catch my drift, especially my “beefy’ hubby). Of course, he complained the whole way down there about how I “get him into these things,” but in the end, the hubby totally kicked butt, winning first in his heat in the pull-ups, the interval run and one of the mystery tests (which turned out being a balance beam with hurdles).

afm fittest dean and jennifer fisher beef team

My heat came up a little later in the morning and ended around 11am; it was plenty hot, but the cloud cover kept it bearable. First off, let me say the group of ladies competing in the 40-49 division was an inspirational bunch. Our band of buff ole babes included the likes of CrossFitters, roller derby gals, past collegiate athletes, obstacle course enthusiasts, trail runners, soccer players and more. I loved how the group was so encouraging and supportive of one another, high-fiving, cheering and setting the example that “we can do it,” from the first finisher to the last even though we were all rivals in a way.  It was definitely an Under Armour #WhatsBeautiful kind of morning!

So, here’s a run down of the tests. Let me say that I “sort of” made my goal. While I didn’t win the entire decade division, it looks like I may have tied for the win in the 45-49 age group. Make sure you read (or at least skip down to the 12th and final test). Whoot!

Test 1 – Standing Medicine Ball Toss:  Well, despite the fact that I did work on this skill a few times, I didn’t do so well. Okay, move on.

Test 2 – Standing Broad Jump: The exciting news is that I jumped 84” which was a half foot improvement from last year and put me in 3rd.  I have to say, I had to work through some anxiety to do this jump because last year (during training), I hurt my back during landing. So needless to say, I didn’t practice – but I performed when need be. Check.

afm fittest jump thefitfork beef team

Test 3 – 40 Yard Dash: Okay, sprinting is definitely not my forte as a runner. I can never get a fast start and I’m slow to get speedy. I guess I don’t have many of those fast-twitch fibers. And, to top it off, this year I had a photographer squatting right smack on my finish line causing me to slow and swerve at the finish. That’s actually what I’m screaming about in the photo below! So, I was actually a bit surprised to see that I got 4th place.

afm fittest omg I have to pee

Test 4 – Agility Cone Run: This one is even harder than the 40 yard dash because you need get-up-and-go AND the nimbleness to cut around cones — all while remembering which way to turn. But, I surprised myself, didn’t get “lost” and managed a 3rd place finish.

Test 5 – Vertical Jump: This was one of two “mystery tests” that were unveiled on the event day. I’ve seen the tall, slatted contraption that you have to jump up and hit at the football fields, but I never knew what function it served. Now I do. Finished pretty middle of the pack.

2013_06 austinfit vertical jump

Test 6 – Precision Throw: This event has all the giddy anticipation and then subsequent let-down of a midway carnival game to me; throwing 10 balls at a target and praying that one clears the strike zone. I got zero, zilch, nada. My exclamation that I have “no balls” may have had friends laughing, but – dang – I could have used some. The lesson learned here is to have more confidence and DON’T begin with an “I CAN’T do this” attitude. To achieve you have to believe, right?! I have so much respect and awe for the ladies that have the eye-hand coordination to get the job done.

afm fittest choke no balls

Test 7 – Pull-Ups: Bring it on; I’ve been practicing pull-ups all year! I jumped up and grabbed the bar knowing I could do 10 and knocked out 13! This gave me the 1st place win in my division and 6th place across ALL women. Wow!

Found out I can make some really ugly faces doing pull-ups!

Found out I can make some really ugly faces doing pull-ups!

Test 8 – Burpees: After great news, follows bad. I didn’t rack up very many burpees, which is weird because I kind of like the exercise. I thought I was totally getting after it during my 1 minute blitz, but apparently not. Wondering if I was getting “no-repped” because I underperformed by about 10 burpees. Oh well, move on.

2013_06 austinfit fittest burpees

Test 9 – Hand Grip: This test measures forearm strength and is fondlly called the Death Grip, now that’s a title a gal could feel proud to win. Last year, I stunk it up. Realizing my previous mistake, I came in strong this year with a 100lb squeeze and redeemed with a 3rd place finish.

Test 10 – Interval Run: My husband calls the interval run “gassers.” I now know why; I felt like I had run out of gas near the end. Oh so close to making the 6th interval, I should have just hurdled my entire body across the line for a dramatic win. Next time.

Test 11 – Balance Beam Hurdles: This was the second mystery test and it proved that the years of gymnastic team tuition my parents paid didn’t really pay off. But, still it was fun trying to carry a wobbly PVC pipe half-filled with water across a balance beam while stepping over hurdles. Okay, the term fun is relative.

Test 12 – Mile Run: I’m glad you stuck with me until the end because this is where I was able to show off my best athletic talent – running further than a 400m. On your mark, get set, go! I took off in the mile and didn’t look back, winning not only my age group, but “best of test” of women across all age divisions with an official 5:45 (although, hey, my GPS said 5:38).

afm fittest mile jennifer fisher thefitfork beef team

Thanks to all the competitors, sponsors and folks from Austin Fit Magazine for the memorable day! And, also to @UAWomen and @txbeef for their continued support of the female athlete.

And, to answer the Facebook rumor: Yes, fish tacos, beer and too-cold ice tea after 6 hours in the sun didn’t agree with me.

One Week Countdown: Austin Fit Magazine FitTest

Ready or not, the final countdown (queue music) is on! The AFM FitTest is happening next weekend in Austin, Texas and I’ll be there.  This 12-test event has been my official challenge goal in a sponsored campaign I’m promoting for Under Armour #WhatsBeautiful, a movement of women coming together to redefine the female athlete. Whatever your fitness goals, the point is that you HAVE fitness goals and TODAY is the time to go out and start putting in the work to make them happen.


Last year was the debut of AFM FitTest as well as my debut into any sort of competition other than running . . . or cooking. Most of these physical events were well outside my comfort zone; I’m talking standing long jump, precision throws and medicine ball throws – eek!  But, I completed every challenge and survived. Not only did I survive, I was inspired to set some new fitness goals that I never, ever imagined for myself. Looking forward to competing with the ladies of Austin next weekend, here are a few AFM FitTest veterans (including myself) that are heading back for a second shot. I think we all fit perfectly with the philosophy of the Under Armour #WhatsBeautiful campaign.Go ladies!

So, let me give you a little update on how MY training is coming on some of the tests– but not so much as to alert the competition!

2013_05 cap tex tri 1 thefitfork

Mile Run: This will probably be my best event, even though we’ll be running in the late morning sun. Just Recently competed in the CapTexTri (10k) in 90 degree heat, so I should be acclimated.

shuttle run thefitfork jennifer fisher

Shuttle Run: My husband calls these “gassers” and I can see why – I’m all out of fuel by the time I’m finished with the last interval.

jennifer fisher thefitfork weigh pullyup

Pull Ups: Even though I did “okay” last year, I excited to report a significant improvement here thanks to making them weighted in practice!

thefitfork med ball toss

Medicine Ball Toss: Even though they’re using a medicine ball that weighs 2lbs less this year, can’t seem to throw it any further.

By the way, it’s not too late to sign up for the 2013 AFM FITTEST sponsored by Trigger Point Performance. Packet pick-up is on Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. Details can be found at the AFM FITTEST website; you can register in person at packet pick-up (there is NO EVENT DAY registration) or online.

2Fer: When to Mix Music with Running & WODs | Koss Fit Series Headphones

thefitfork running with music

Wondering if you should rock out with music while you run or workout in the gym? Poll your friends or Google some scientific studies and you’ll quickly discover that this ongoing debate has persuasive arguments booming out of both sides of the proverbial box. Some athletes wouldn’t dream of running a single step or lifting a dumbbell without pumping up the volume, while other athletes turn their noses up at anything but the unplugged, purist approach. There is no arguing that music has a beat that makes the body want to move. On the other hand, there are legitimate reasons to keep your entire mind “on call” when you run or workout.  As usual, I support the best of both worlds. That is, knowing how to incorporate music into training on occasion and then being able to ultimately perform without it. And, make sure to read down to the bottom because I’m going to fill you in on the really awesome KossFitClip” and “FitBud” headphones that are designed by women, for women.


When To Mix Music and Exercise

To Enhance Performance with “Up-Tempo: Songs:  Music makes a great substitute for that absent training partner who is just a little bit faster or stronger than you. When I don’t have a friend on the track to chase down and have to finish speed workouts alone, I will often wear headphones to help me kick it in high gear. I always wondered how music made me feel like I just ate my Wheaties. Well, according to a 2012 study, music can act as a metronome to help maintain a steady pace, reduce false steps and decrease energy expenditures. The researchers at Hallam University found that participants who cycled in time to music required 7 percent less oxygen to do the same work as their music-free counterparts.  According to another music and exercise researcher, Costas Karageorghis from the School of Sport and Education at London’s Brunel University, the “sweet spot” for using music to enhance performance is between125 – 140 beats per minute. So, pick up-tempo songs, not slow love ballads!

 To Get Motivated with “Favorite” Songs: On days when it’s hard to get out the door, cranking up the iPod and exercising to a few of my all-time favorite songs helps me readjust my mood. This isn’t just a touchy-feely claim; there is real science behind this type of attitude adjustment. A recent study showed that subjects who listened to music they reportedly “loved” triggered the release of dopamine, the famous feel-good neurotransmitter. But, when the same participants listened to generic music selected by the researchers, dopamine levels remained stagnant. In addition to being the brain’s reward and pleasure center, it’s no surprise to find out that dopamine not only enables our brain to see rewards, but sends the signals we need to take action and move toward achieving them.

To Trick Yourself into Beating Fatigue: When your body starts sensing signs of extreme exertion, it notifies your brain to take a break. But, the use of music can keep you going despite rising levels of lactic acid in the muscles, a pounding heart beat and increased sweat production.  Experts say that music overrides the physiological feedback for the brain’s conscious attention – it’s a diversion in the same way that the phlebotomist’s office always has an interesting photo to look at while you’re getting blood drawn. However, during intense fatigue, music can lose its magic to override the suffering. Anyone who’s ever hit the wall in a marathon knows there’s not a song ever sung that can trick your mind out of the pain.  However, the right music can elevate your mood and persuade you to ride out the waves of exhaustion, rather than giving up.

no music

When Not to Mix Music with Exercise

When Coming Back from Injury: If you are rehabilitating from an injury, it’s best to work out without music. Experts say that listening to music can distract an athlete from the exercise at hand, encouraging a ‘push-through-the-pain mentality’ – even if it’s at a subconscious level. Instead of disassociating yourself from distress with music, try turning inward and listening to your body’s feedback.

When Competing: When competing, the best athletes seem to have every sense focused on achieving top performance without the aid of any external stimulus such as music. It’s true that listening to music prior to your start is a great way to calm down – or get pumped up. But, during the actual competition, music has the potential to become a disastrous liability, a disadvantage which trumps any performance benefit you could potentially have achieved with it. Think how stupid you would feel to lose your lead because you didn’t hear the footsteps of a runner challenging you from behind or you missed an important call from a referee and ending up with a DQ. Or, even just the inconvenience of your device losing its battery charge halfway through a marathon and being stuck lugging the dang thing to the finish line. Also, be aware that some sports governing bodies don’t allow the use of music, viewing it as a “performance enhancer” that gives unfair advantage on the playing field. For example, US Track & Field (USTF) bars the use of headphones or music for athletes who are competing for “awards, medals or prize money.”

When in Potentially Hazardous Situations: Put safety above your playlist. Use common sense when it comes to running or exercising with headphones on. If the volume is cranked and you are totally tuned out, you may not hear oncoming traffic, unfriendly dogs, or potential criminals. In races and competitions, you may miss important directions from the officials and not benefit from the thrill of hearing the cheering crowd.


Keep it Courteous: Also remember that one man’s music is another man’s migraine. If you’re in the gym, garage, or running with a speaker vest and playing your music “out loud” remember to be courteous and keep it at a reasonable volume.


A Review of KOSS Fit Series Headphones 

So, I think we should all mix music with our exercise at least every once in a while. If you agree, you’ll want to have some great headphones to maximize the listening experience. Nothing worse than a crackling, cheapo pair of headphones that wants to slide out of your sweaty ears. Or, worse yet, won’t even fit in your ears. Well, earlier this month, the Koss Fit Series hit the market and they sent me both of their new models to try out– the FitClips and the EarBuds.

So, what’s great about the Koss FitClips? These headphones use an original design to ensure that perfect fit we women want; they measure in 33% smaller than the standard earbud. The speaker element rests comfortably in the ear and comes with one of three sizes of ear cushions to make sure a girl is getting the perfect ear “seal.”  The ear clip is soft and flexible and after running 8 miles in it this morning, not once did it fall out or slip thanks to both the design and sweat-resistant coating. In fact, I forgot that I was wearing them! There are five vibrant colors available; mine are a pretty blue that reminds me of the Texas Mountain Laurel that I see on my trail runs.

Koss FitBud

Koss FitBud


Koss FitClip

Koss FitClip

Another thing to love about the Koss Fit Series, Darra Torres is their spokeswoman. Named as one of the “Top Female Athletes of the Decade” by Sports Illustrated, the swimming sensation is about my age and such an inspirational role model. Darra believes that it’s never too late to accomplish your dreams and that determination trumps age – I love this! These are words to live by!

If you’re interested in a pair, head over to Koss and use the code Fit4Life for $5 off plus free shipping.

What’s Beautiful 3.0 Challenge – Taking Fitness & Teamwork to Epic New Level

I am so excited to be part of a sponsored campaign for the Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful challenge — together we’re redefining the female athlete by encouraging you all to set fitness goals, reach those goals and then set your sights once unimaginable dreams with all your new found badassery.

under armor costa rica whats beautiful

Join me in the challenge; you know want this friendly kick in the rear to get your spring and summer fitness journey in gear.  It’s easy –just go to the What’s Beautiful challenge page, set a personal goal you can accomplish starting today through the next 10 weeks and then document yourself making it all happen – the sweat, the suffering and the smiles! You’ll be in the running for awesome swag from Under Armor along with a chance end up at a yoga and relaxation retreat in Costa Rica.

If you’re not a one-woman wolf pack (really, who is?), then join or start a team once you’ve registered. The motivation, accountability and empowerment, these are all the benefits of surrounding yourself with the support of a team.  I’ve started a team called “Fit, Fearless and Forty-Something” and I’ve seen other teams I might join like “Boston Bound” among others. If you don’t see a team that matches your goals, then go make one!

whats beautiful fit fearles and forty something team under armour

Teams of athletic women will . . . . motivate, inspire and keep you accountable!

My goal is to win my age group (40-49) at the Austin Fit Magazine “FitTest” this summer. That’s right; I’m setting the goal high. I competed last year with a hurt back and placed 7th, so it’s not unrealistic – but still something to work hard towards.  The day-long challenge has 10 events, ranging from a medicine ball throw to a one mile run, plus (new this year) an additional two mystery tests! I’ll update my What’s Beautiful profile page every week with the test element I’ve been working on the most.

2012_06 afm fittest afterwards

Me and the hubby celebrating after last year’s AFM FitTest!

What is your goal going to be? If you don’t have a goal, get a goal!  It could be crossing the finish line of a 5k, getting a new PR at the dead lift, or accomplishing a new skill like a back bend or butterfly stroke – or making the roller derby team!  If you don’t want to go it alone, make a team goal – walking a combined 1000 miles over the 10 week challenge, logging 10 hours of group planking, or winning the summer softball league championship. I’m just throwing ideas out there!

Soooo .  . will you join Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful challenge?   #IWILL #WhatsBeautiful