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Posts Tagged ‘FitFluential’

December 3, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Fitness Goodies

Another late hello! It might take a few weeks for me to get into the working (away from home) groove again, but I am confident that I will eventually get onto a normal blogging schedule again. Not to worry!

Jumping right into it, let’s continue on with the 2014 edition of Holiday Gift Guides. I have received great feedback from the two I’ve previously posted:

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying this series!

This one highlights items anyone interested in active living might enjoy. From group fitness enthusiasts and runners to yogis and CrossFitters, this list should be broad enough to cover them all.

Do you have a great gift idea I’m missing?

Feel free to share at the bottom!

Holiday Gift Guide Fitness Goodies 2014

• FlipBelt

FlipBelt is an easy and extremely lightweight belt that allows you to be equipped with things you might need during a workout or long run, completely hands-free. I got one a couple months ago and I’m obsessed.

FlipBelt inside


I purchased the pink one specifically for running, but this could easily come in handy for anyone taking their workouts outside, or even those who don’t want to carry a bag into the gym!

• pullovers or layering tops

Anyone active or interested in any kind of workout or fitness activity could use a comfy and practical pullover to layer with. My personal collection of them range from lightweight and 1/4 zip to shirts to thicker and full zip.

activewear cover ups

I have especially been loving comfortable hoodies with drooping necklines like the PUMA French Terry Sweatshirt and Reebok YO-GA Hoodie lately. Also, zip-ups with thumbholes are always a bonus in my book! I just bought the New Balance “Impact” Hooded Half Zip and wear it every chance I get.

Popular/Personal Favorite brands include:

Lorna Jane, Reebok, PUMA, lululemon, lucy, Fabletics

• foam roller

Foam rollers are an essential part of stretching and workout recovery. Using them frequently can have the same effect as a deep tissue massage!

Foam rolling, also called self-myofascial release, uses deep compression to literally roll out fixed knots or muscle pains that develop in deep tissue. The hard cylinders come in all different sizes and intensities. There are even gridded ones to trigger pressure points.

foam rollers

I have this high density roller on my Christmas list and can’t stress the importance of anyone working their body having one to use at home enough.

• athletic or running socks

Any gym goer can never have too many athletic, running and/or compression socks… especially when the dryer likes to steal half of them. Am I right?

puma running socks

(PUMA Pro-Tech Microfiber low socks)

My favorite kinds are no show with the tabs on the end to prevent rubbing and blistering. For running, my go to brand for socks is Brooks.

• quality water bottle

Those living a healthy and fit lifestyle would appreciate a good water bottle. I mentioned this Tervis water bottle in my recent Holiday Gift Guide For Her and am sharing it again here.

It’s seriously the best.

fitness water bottles

I have also been eying the Groove Insulated CamelBak Water Bottle that has a built-in filter. It would be nice to have a water bottle with a filter, or even a bottle made specifically for fruit infused water as well!

• FitClips/FitBuds

I have been using these Koss FitClips for over a year and haven’t put another earbud in my ear for a long run or workout ever since. They’re awesome and don’t leave the exact area you put them!

(I don’t know about you, but I’ve previously had issues with my earbuds staying in my ears.)

fitness earbuds

They are smaller than your typical earbud and are made for women by women. Koss Fit Series came out with two different versions of an earbud for active women: FitBuds or FitClips. Both versions come in a variety of adorable colors with three different ear cushions to ensure the perfect fit for your ear size. They are sweat resistant, extremely lightweight, and are covered under a lifetime warranty.

• stability ball

You can do so many things with a stability ball! Beyond using them for workouts at home, it’s good for you to use a stability ball as a chair if you are sitting for any length of time. I purchased a cheap one a couple years ago, but really need to invest in a quality ball.

stability ball

I’m not a stability ball expert, but I have my eye on this, this, or this one. They’re especially great for stretching, wall sits, crunches, planks, and lower body exercises!

• activity tracker/fitness watch

I have yet to own an activity tracker, but it’s been on my wish list for years. From what I’ve heard, the Fitbit Flex, Polar Loop, and the Jawbone UP would all be great options to track steps, calories, activity, and even sleep levels!

jawbone up activity tracker

I have the Polar FT60 heart rate monitor and love it for group fitness classes and workouts. For running, however, I would prefer one that tracked pace and distance as well.

• leggings/capris

You really can’t go wrong with a traditional black, bright, or even fun printed pair of leggings. Just like I mentioned in a previous holiday gift guide, you want to stick to a pair of leggings with material that won’t go see-through during your squats and stretches.

Good pairs of fitness leggings usually run on the expensive side, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about lululemon Wunder Unders.

fun leggings

(Fabletics Salar Capri, lululemon Wunder UndersReebok Dance Capri)

Popular/Personal Favorite brands include:

Lorna Jane, Reeboklululemon, lucy, Fabletics

• Lorna Jane 2015 MNB Diary/Planner

I was blown away at the response I got to this giveaway!

I absolutely adore this active living diary and can’t wait to crack it open and put it to use after the New Year. Inside, you will find workouts (move), recipes and healthy eating tips (nourish), and inspirational quotes (believe) to get you through your days.

lorna jane mnb 2015 diary planner

There’s numerous writing prompts and places to take notes throughout it! I recommend getting this planner for anyone who currently lives or wants to get into living a happy, healthy, active lifestyle.

Additional ideas worth checking out:

>> giftcards to a sporting goods store, fitness apparel store, or iTunes

(hook up their playlist!)

>> giftcards towards a massage and/or pedicure (<- the best after a race!)

>> race medal hanger… just ordered one for both me and my mom! Check out Etsy for tons of adorable options. (Love this one!)

>> cover a month of their gym/studio membership (<- I would have loved this when I paid for my Lifetime Fitness membership!)

>> a quality yoga mat, because even if they aren’t a yogi, they still might use it for workouts at home

>> Reebok Skyscapes: my all-time favorite runaround shoe!

>> massage stick roller (great to have at home and use with foam rolling)


Fitness lovers: I invite you to share some of your favorite fitness gift ideas in the comments section too. Happy Shopping!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The Holiday Gift Guide series features items I genuinely want to share with you, and have possibly purchased myself. Please understand, however, that affiliate links are included, and this post in particular includes affiliate links that help donate to the Red Cross. As always, I really appreciate your support! <3

December 2, 2014

Detroit Turkey Trot Drumstick Double

Hi friends! I’m coming to you a lot later than normal today.

I had a busy afternoon training at the gym! I only have a short window of time to pop in before I need to get back out the door, but I wanted to share my Turkey Trot race recap with you.

Let’s get straight to it!

Detroit Turkey Trot Drumstick Double

My Thanksgiving morning started early with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call. Scott was already signed up to work the parade in Downtown Detroit, so I thought it would be fun to participate and race in the Turkey Trot 10K with my mom beforehand.

I had to do a bit of convincing (she does not like being out in the cold!), but she agreed, and I was looking forward to completing a race with her again. The last time we raced together was back in 2012!

By the time we left, picked up Scott’s friend, and made our way downtown, my mom and I were dropped off close to the starting line right before 7 a.m. We had plans to stop by the Cobo Center to check a bag and get rid of my puffer vest layer, but we decided to find a restroom instead.

We walked into a hotel close to the start line to use the restroom and the line was out the door. There’s no way I was going to run over 9 miles with a full bladder, so we agreed to wait it out. I was getting really nervous when I saw runners in my wave leave for the start line while I was still in line.

We were next in line at exactly 7:30 a.m., and I became very frustrated that I wasn’t in my place to race. That’s the first time I have ever completely missed the kick-off! We hurried as fast as we could and found our way into Wave 4. I was disappointed to have missed my wave, but I knew I could catch up if I really tried.

I had just enough time to put my music on, snap a quick photo and set out for the first part of the race!

turkey trot 10k with mom

I worked hard to politely dodge runners left and right in order to get up to my planned pace. I know I pushed myself and ran harder than I normally do during the beginning few miles.

I don’t know if I ever found my wave, but I did finally reach a place where I could run without dodging around the 4 mile mark. I felt a bit warm with my puffer vest, but there wasn’t anywhere I could have stashed it. So, I ran with it open to cool down a little.

Running downtown brought back memories from running the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon back in October. Only colder. Much, much colder.

canada selfie

(There’s Canada, right behind me! #canadaselfie)

I felt great when I saw the 6 mile mark and knew the end wasn’t far away. For those of you who aren’t familiar with race distances, a 10K is 6.2 miles.

I crossed the finish line at the 52 minute mark. My bib literally clocked me in at 52:00. I shaved :35 off of my last 10K PR, so I was excited to see it!

Everyone running the 10K veered to the left for water and snacks, and everyone running the Drumstick Double (10K + 5K) veered to the right. I grabbed a water bottle over the divider on my way back to the start line and followed the crowd. Everything seemed to be moving seamlessly.

drumstick double thanksgiving detroit

I reached into my FlipBelt for fuel in the form of a Gu Chomp, then sadly realized I didn’t put my pack in there. Bummer! I definitely felt like I could have used the sugar refuel and pick-me-up.

I chugged my water and tried to find my wave at the 5K start line.

drumstick double 5k start line

Just like last time, I couldn’t move. I had no chance of making it to the wave I signed up for in this type of crowd. I barely made it through to leave with Wave 5 this time! I found a girl who was in my same predicament and we were both pretty frustrated.

My “group” made it up to the start line 16 minutes after Wave 1 started. I knew it was going to be more of a challenge to weave through the crowd this time, but I tried my best to do so. I had my heart set on a good 5K time!

Racing for time, I became annoyed really quickly. There were walkers, walkers with strollers, and families stopping to be together everywhere I tried to go. I am all for anyone at any fitness level doing this race, I just feel like it could have been organized a lot better.

Maybe put a lane on the side for the Drumstick Double runners to be able to get to their wave? Maybe state a run on the left, walk on the right rule?

I don’t know… those two things could have saved a lot of trouble for a lot of people. I felt like I was stopping, going, cutting corners, and weaving the throughout the entire 3.1 miles.

My fingers started turning numb after the first mile. They felt fine during the 10K, so I could tell the temperature had dropped. I was thankful to have my puffer vest on and zipped that bad boy up!

I crossed the finish line at 28:02, which isn’t a horrible time… but it’s nowhere near my 5K PR of 22:04! I didn’t think I would beat it, but I thought I would at least clock in around the 25 minute mark. So for that, I was disappointed.

This time, I got to veer to the left after I finished the race. I grabbed water and a banana and went inside to claim my medals. The 10K and 5K runners received their medals outside, but the Drumstick Double runners had to go all the way to the back corner of the conference center to get theirs. That’s another thing that didn’t really make sense to me.

There wasn’t any cell service inside, so I failed to get ahold of my mom while I was waiting in line for the restroom. We finally found each other by the medal area and walked over to get more food. I was very happy to see chocolate chip bagels!

As we were ready to make our way back outdoors, we stopped to snap a celebratory photo.

mom and i after the turkey trot detroit

I was so proud of my mom!

Bundled up, she took running her 6.2 miles in the cold like a champ!

mom with the parade company clown

I took it upon myself to take a post-race selfie with my three medals. I thought it was pretty cool that we got one for each race, then another for the running both of them together! #allthebling

Detroit Drumstick Double Turkey Trot 2014

I also wanted to note that I had more than earned my hearty Thanksgiving dinner (and leftovers) for days to come. Mission accomplished.

Strategically walking slowly outdoors, we each bought a hot coffee on the way out and found the end of the parade. I remember some floats from the years before and saw other new ones.

Unfortunately, we somehow missed the float Scott was working!

detroit thanksgiving day parade 2014

detroit thanksgiving day parade floats

He gave us a call to let us know he was finished, and we walked a good few miles down Woodward Ave. to find him. That’s probably the coldest we were all morning! It was freezing out, but a fun parade to see nonetheless.

america's thanksgiving day parade 2014

We were more than happy to find him soon after that bridge, and couldn’t wait to get home to eat Thanksgiving dinner!

Would I do the Turkey Trot again? Yes. Now I know to arrive extra early, allow for extra long lines to the bathroom, and get to the start line early to be able to make my way up to the front of my assigned wave. Also, wearing a parka wouldn’t have hurt either. Just sayin’.

I plan on going for runs throughout the winter, but nothing too long in the cold temperatures we are at now. Let’s just hope this year doesn’t turn into another Polar Vortex! For now, I am very content working out indoors and saving running outside for the warmer days.

I hope to pick racing back up in the spring!

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Upcoming Events

Clarkston Back Roads Half Marathon

Nov. 9th - Clarkston, MI

Turkey Trot Drumstick Double (10K + 5K)

Nov. 26th - Detroit, MI



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Although I am a certified personal trainer, the workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I am not a registered dietician and do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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