Archive for June, 2013
June 30, 2013
Attending FitBloggin’ has been nothing short of an incredible experience. In just three days I made new friends, talked (blog) shop, and broke more than a few sweats in all types of new-to-me fitness classes!
As I finish packing up my stuff to get ready to head towards the airport, I am leaving this adventure feeling inspired and ready to put everything I learned to good use. I have an abundance of positive energy flowing, and can’t wait tell you all about it!
First, I wanted to dedicate this post to a topic I mentioned in yesterday’s post that a handful of you expressed interest in: how to find the perfect fitness shoe.
How do you decide on which type of running or training shoe to buy?
If your answer is based around colors or design attractiveness, then you might want to read on. Just like any other type of footwear, fitness shoes come in all different shapes and sizes, and are designed for specific purposes to enable you to have the best workout experience possible.
Although each brand is different, the base of what is covered below could be applied to any type of fitness shoe line.
How to Find the Perfect Shoe, By Reebok
As a huge sponsor, Reebok had the entire FitBloggin’ conference living with fire. They sponsored a Cardio Dance class, a CrossFit class, and even held a presentation on the do’s and don’t's of running, training, walking, and dance shoe purchasing.
Our on-site Reebok shoe expert, Chris, did a wonderful job presenting not only the different lines of their shoes, but what the difference actually is between them. Finally, I feel like I have a good understanding of basic athletic shoe design.
My main conclusion? Know what you are looking for in a fitness shoe.
If you are a runner, you need to find the running shoe that is best for YOU. If you are a dancer, you need a flexible workout shoe with the right amount of cushion and type of material that allows you to control your movements. It may seem like common sense, but there is so, so much more to it than what is obvious.
Here are my notes!
#1 Tip: Get a Gait Analysis.
The gait cycle of a runner is the order of how the foot lands during a run: heel, midfoot, toe.
A gait analysis gives you feedback on your form. Most running specialty stores will do a basic analysis your stride for free. Here is a great article on what to expect in a gait analysis, via Fitsugar.com.
All runners have different strides. If you are unsure of what kind of runner you are, you can watch these informative videos on neutral runners, runners who over-pronate, and runners who under-pronate via Runnersworld.com.
Here is a breakdown of the four different types of Reebok fitness shoes.
This specific shoe is built from back to front. There are three density zones to help your foot act as efficiently as possible. Materials in the upper change throughout the design of shoe.
• Minimalism – Barefoot Running
Although Reebok does not sell barefoot running shoes, they have designed a line with a flexible, natural feel.
Example: Real Flex Shoe
This is a zero drop shoe, which means there is no change in drop from where your heel is to where your toe is.
• What is Difference Running vs. Cross Training Shoes?
Running shoes are built to run in one direction, while cross training shoes are built to move in multiple directions. Cross trainers do not have as much cushion, but are more stable.
Example: Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0
This shoe was designed for CrossFit, but is built to sustain different training activities. There is not a lot of cushioning (opposed to a running shoe). The mid-sole material is a flattened platform, which makes it thinner. This allows your foot to lay flatter and closer to the ground, making it more stable. This type of shoe will have a carbon rubber on the bottom to help you move laterally.
Example: Reebok EasyTone Lead
Walking shoes are good for trailblazing and hiking, (not running). They are uniquely constructed for how your foot connects with the ground. They are made with multiple densities, which are tougher in heel.
Dance shoes are built with four critical dance movements in mind.
1. Forward & Backward: Forefront Grip: Specific rubber placement for traction while on the ball of your foot.
2. Side to Side: Flex Groves: Uniquely angled flex grooves based on foot movement.
3. Jumps & Stomps: Reebok’s softest and most responsive mid-sole compound.
4. Turns & Spins: Pivot Point & Turn Zone: Circular rubber insert for enhanced traction surrounded by directional siping details to keep movement smooth.
I participate in multiple types of activities and training. What type of shoe should I get if I want to go the gym to run on a treadmill and then weight train?
Everybody has their own answer and opinion. Our on-site Reebok shoe expert, Christopher, recommends a CrossFit shoe, if you aren’t concerned about having a lot of cushioning.
Should my sizing change when I purchase running shoes?
Everybody’s preference is different, and you don’t necessarily need to go up dramatically in size for a running shoe. Generally, a half-size up is enough to give you a little extra room.
Did you find any of this information useful? It sure helped me out. For the first time… ever… I finally understand what makes a training shoe a training shoe and why it is best for me to wear the appropriate type of fitness shoe to coordinate with type of fitness activity I am doing.
Questions? Go for it below in the comments section. I will give it my all to answer them.
Don’t forget that TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter my $100 Reebok Gift Card Giveaway…
… and my Designer Whey Sustained Energy Givewaway!
To those of you who have already entered, (thank you! and) Good Luck!
More on FitBloggin’ and the rest of my time in Portland coming tomorrow.
June 29, 2013
Yesterday was the first day of my very first blog conference, FitBloggin’!
I have been wanting to attend a conference for bloggers since I started writing one. When I found out there are conferences specifically for bloggers in the health and fitness community, I made it a goal of mine to attend one by the end of the year.
Just like any other type of industry, this conference is packed with a few days of education, networking, classes, and fun. We all just happen to attend in fitness gear and run healthy living/fitness blogs.
As a FitFluential Ambassador, I was sponsored by Reebok to attend the conference and represent the brand alongside the talented group of lady bloggers you see below. They are all rock stars, and run blogs I have followed for a considerable amount of time.
To say I feel honored to be a part of their team this weekend would be the understatement of the year. I feel so blessed!
Front row: Julie, me.
I have been absolutely blown away by this entire experience, and it started with a generous product delivery from Reebok. Everything fitness related you see me wear in these recaps were either sent to me beforehand, or given to me at the conference.
Day One, I dove right into their new dance line.
The top and the shorts were samples, and I am guessing that is the reason I cannot seem to find them on the website. I will have to ask them where I can find a link today! The Dance UrLead 2.0 shoes, however, are available and up for grabs.
Dressed and ready for the day, I met my group to head downstairs for breakfast. I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach on this one, because I only ended up eating about half of this food!
I didn’t want to get too weighed down before attending the two fitness classes I was looking forward to the most: Cardio Dance and Zumba.
(This schedule is just for activity in this ballroom only. Lots more to do!)
Ready to get our cardio dance groove on, Gina and I took a moment to capture our matching outfits. #twinzies
(I promise to give you more information on this cut-out style tank soon!)
We started our intenSati class with Patricia Moreno at 8 a.m. sharp. What I expected was cardio dance, and what I got was an hour long mixture of high-energy aerobics, martial arts, dance, yoga, and strength conditioning.
The intenSati method is something I have never heard about before, and did one heck of a job getting me to break a sweat. Not only was my body working hard, but my mind and soul came to life with mantras and outspoken chants as we transitioned from move to move.
Everyone had a blast and left feeling empowered. The dancing was great, but my favorite class moment has to be when Julie came over to do a teamwork “fish out of water” move with me during a dance break. She’s wonderfully hilarious.
After a thirty minute break (and a well deserved cup of coffee), it was time for Zumba! I have only taken a handful of Zumba classes before, but they have all been really fun.
I love taking classes out of my normal comfort zone because it reminds me how much I am missing out on at my home gym. I just might have to pop into Zumba every once in a while.
After an hour of booty shaking and jumping around, we all left sweaty and tired. Since that was our last fitness class for the day, we took a break to shower and get ready for the remainder of the day.
These pants are unbelievably comfortable, and I am loving the pockets on the sides! Once again, Gina and I rocked them as a team.
(Totally stole this cute picture from Julie.)
Yay for being so fresh and so clean, clean!
Just like breakfast, lunch was provided by the conference. I was excited to see some fresh greens and loaded my plate with a makeshift salad of lettuce, turkey, chicken, tomatoes, onions, some kind of pepper/pickle mixture (?), and blue cheese dressing.
The mixed vegetable pasta salad on the side was better than I expected with roasted corn and red peppers added into the noodle and broccoli mixture I originally went for. You already know how I feel about the fruit! I think I feel a bit of a fruit kick starting up again…
Two exciting things happened during lunch:
1. I got to finally meet Kelly Olexa, founder of FitFluential, and basically the definition of awesome!
2. There was a fitness fashion show with over a dozen smiley, confident women who seemed to have a blast on stage.
(Sorry for the blurry photo.)
This time I made sure to capture their team of juicers in action to share just how fresh everything is.
Today’s juice of choice was called Liquid Sunshine with apple, orange, kale, lemon and ginger.
It was great, but I could definitely taste a bite from the lemon and ginger combination. Scott would loooooove that.
Looks like we brought a new fan to the juice bar, too. Charissa came over to sit by us at lunch and ended up spending the next few hours with us!
Fueled by juice, we walked back over to the hotel to attend a discussion about how to find the perfect shoe by Reebok. More to come on this and a continuation of FitBloggin’ fun tomorrow!
June 28, 2013
Gooooood Morning! It’s a great one over here in Portland, Oregon.
In just a few minutes, I will be heading downstairs to attend my very first blogger conference. I have been looking forward to FitBloggin’ for months, and am excited to share my experience with you.
First, I have some catching up to do on how my trip is going so far. Before I even get to the fun stuff I have to share these pictures of the hotel room I am in staying in. The moment I opened the door, I couldn’t believe it was all for little ‘ol me.
I am staying at The Nines, where the conference is being held, and every bit of it is stunning!
I am in love with the colors and printed wall paper designs. When Scott and I somehow manage to put together a dream home one day, I yearn for it to look like this… complete with a vanity with a chair for me to get ready in front of, of course. *Swoon*
Run Around the Waterfront Loop
I woke up later than normal yesterday about 9 a.m. (That cushioned bed makes me want to sleep for days!) After browsing through a few suggestions of things to do in the city via your Twitter suggestions, I decided to go for a run at Waterfront Loop.
I walked over to Waterfront Park hoping to hop on the three mile running trail loop around the lake. As soon as I got my music playlist going, I noticed a slew of people walking in racing bibs. Was there a race happening?
Soon after, I saw a few 5K signs around the lake with arrows pointing to a direct path. I decided to join on in and made it to the bridge before I had to stop and walk due to race congestion.
Looks like there is another convention in town: LeakyCon. <- any Harry Potter fans out there?
My timing of picking the same course and start time to run was impeccable. I made the best of it and weaved around as much as I could before finally deciding to take my own path.
That’s when I saw this view. Portland is so pretty!
Five miles later, I called it a day and made my way over to a juice bar the concierge at our hotel recommended.
Kure is known for the freshest juice and smoothies in town, and uses all local and organic produce. I got the Queen Green Smoothie and it was perfectly refreshing after my run outside.
Such an interesting (but amazing) combination: avocado, kale, cucumber, celery, apple, ginger, coconut water and ice. I will have to remember that one!
Meeting New Friends
Blogger conferences are a great excuse to get to know people in the industry. I was so happy to finally meet up with a few familiar faces I have been following online for quite a while.
I was very grateful for Anne and Gina inviting me to spend lunch and the day with what has become a close group of friends of theirs. They were all so welcoming!
We found a great restaurant located on 2nd Avenue called Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen.
When looking over the menu, I had a hard time deciding what to order. Everything looked amazing.
I ended up going with the Papaya salad with julienne green papaya, shrimp, peanuts, bell peppers, onions, basil, and lime vinaigrette.
Yup… it was just as fantastic as it looks.
After lunch, we walked over to the Waterfront and enjoyed some fresh air.
An an afternoon of shopping, walking around and Voodoo Doughnuts followed. I am not exaggerating when I say there was a line wrapped around the front for this place!
Their slogan is “The Magic is in the Hole!!!” and they aren’t kidding. With flavors like maple bacon bar, captain my captain (using Captain Crunch cereal), and The Loop (with Fruit Loops) they put a little bit of “voodoo magic” in each and every one.
(Photo by Tina)
Just look at them!
With a sensitive tummy in mind, I ordered the vegan triple chocolate penetration doughnut with coco-puffs, and it was absolutely worth the wait.
Dinner at Portland City Grille
With just a few minutes to rest, we all gathered again for dinner. Per suggestions from local friends, we walked over to Portland City Grille on the 30th Floor.
I guess I should have expected the view to be gorgeous from that far up…
Gorgeous it was!
Dinner came at a high price, so I stuck to the soup of the day (Pork, beans, and kale) with a mixed greens salad.
The soup was fantastic. The salad was okay. The company was great!
(Again, pictures from Tina.)
From left to right: Gina, Kasey, Tina, Bobbi.
Julie, Anne, Ericka, me.
I had a wonderful day with these ladies, and hanging with them was a great way to kick off my time here in Portland.
Now off to FitBloggin’!
June 28, 2013
Wait… another giveaway this week? YUP.
And it’s a gooooooooood one!
We’ll get to the details soon, promise.
Yesterday, I mentioned the next time I would be checking in with you would be from Portland, Oregon. I’m here!
I spent the majority of my Wednesday either on an airplane or at an airport, and found myself with a lot of down time to listen to music and gaze out at the blue skies.
I always prefer a window seat when flying. Views from the air amaze me, and I find it fascinating how much the landscape and ground patterns change as you fly across the country. As we made our way out west, it went from fields to mountains to desert.
That was the first time I had ever noticed a clear circular pattern in the ground landscape (left photo). For a quick second, I let my imagination get the best of me… Crop circles? Aliens? I didn’t even take myself seriously, but the fact that it even crossed my mind for a second confirms that I needed to catch up on some sleep last night. Good thing I did!
In case you too were wondering, the fields are designed that way to stay irrigated by large sprinklers that move in a circular motion. (Phew!)
Airport Food Can Be Healthy Food
With a full day of traveling ahead, I had a goal of finding somewhat healthy meals at the airport to fuel my day.
My flight boarded in Detroit right before Noon. On my way to the gate, I only had a few minutes to find something that I wouldn’t regret taking on the plane. Luckily, I found this great Cobb Salad from Earl of a Sandwich.
The chicken, bacon, and tomatoes I expected, however, the blocks of cheese and cranberries I did not. It came with a side of ranch dressing, and I used about half of it.
It probably isn’t the healthiest salad out there, but it sure beats grabbing a Big Mac. Plus, the combination of everything together was delicious! I was impressed.
Before long, I landed in Dallas, Texas and spent the next three hours on a layover. I wasn’t necessarily hungry yet, so I took some time to explore the airport and found Teavana. I just love that store.
They always have uniquely blended flavors, and the hot tea samples get me every time. Instead of coffee, I grabbed a Marahaja Chai Oolong Tea and it hit the spot as I spent the afternoon by my laptop.
Before boarding, I knew it would be a toss up if dinner would be served on flight or not. Just to be safe, I took a lap around neighboring gates to see if anything somewhat healthy popped out at me.
Eventually, I found freshly made sushi from Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grille.
It was a California Roll made with white rice, which is usually not what I would order… but choices of fresh sushi in a hurry in an airport are slim. Suddenly, I had to have it.
I sat at the gate and enjoyed every roll right in time before it was my time to board.
I wasn’t in much of a snacking mood yesterday, but I saw a ton of healthy options that could curb any healthy conscious diet. I am really proud of how far airport food has come!
Now onto the good stuff!
$100 Reebok Gift Card Giveaway
(You didn’t forget about it did you?)
It is no secret that I am a fan of Reebok. Through their partnership and my ambassadorship with FitFluential, I have formed a relationship with them and look forward to finally meeting part of their team at FitBloggin’ this weekend!
While en route to Portland, we collaborated on a special giveaway just for you guys set to take place during the duration of the conference.
(It just so happens to coincide with my Designer Whey Giveaway. Hey, I’m not complaining about it!)
Since I have been throwing a lot of Reebok product at you lately, I thought the best prize for you would be a gift card. And it is for a pretty generous amount at $100!
Just for fun, let’s take a quick look back at some of my recent reviews and current favorites.
Recent Reviews + Highlights:
And, obviously, these Reebok ONE Series Cushion Running Shoes.
My Current Wish List + Favorites:
Head over to the Reebok website, pick your favorite clothing item, line, or shoe of choice and leave a comment on this post telling one item you would like to buy with your gift card!
Make sure to get credit for your comment by sharing it with the Rafflecopter!
Did you utilize all of the entries available?
You have until Midnight Sunday, June 30th E.S.T. to enter the giveaway. Winner will be announced first thing Monday morning, July 1st.
(Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.)
Now off to go explore Portland!