Road Tested: Orange Mud Transition Towel 2.0

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Transition Towel to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

Is anyone still getting used to the time change with Daylight Savings Time ending? I struggled all last week and I’m still feeling “off”.

Not to be outdone by last week, this week has been an interesting one too. My husband is out of the country, traveling for work. I can hold down the fort when it comes to our household, make no mistake about that. But when you’re used to the divide and conquer method, it’s a bit challenging to conquer solo. Our kids are older so it’s less about parenting little ones (like it was when they were little and he’d travel) and more about just making everything happen for both of them (Scouts, piano, karate, after school activities, etc).

Additionally, he and I usually switch off going to the gym in the early morning hours so I’ve had to adjust my schedule because someone needs to be here with the kids to see them off to school. We make it work because having that time carved out for MY activities is just as important as getting them to theirs.

If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

I’m still able to get to the gym and get my workout done, which is important to me. AND, I have a race this weekend.

After my last race in Atlantic City.

While the weather has cooled significantly over the past few weeks, I am still absolutely gross when I finish with a workout or a run. I’ve said it time and time again, I am a heavy sweater. And not a pretty knit kind.

I sweat hard, no matter the workout. There’s nothing I can do to change it though so I just need to deal with it. Last year when I got my new car, I knew I didn’t want my seats to get gross after my workouts so I threw towels in my car that I occasionally remembered to use.

Then BibRave brought the Orange Mud Transition Towel to my attention! The transition towel is pretty cool because not only does it save the material on your car seats but you can also use it to wrap around yourself and change clothes.

via Orange Mud

I’m bringing it along with me for the Rothman 8k this weekend. After nearly 5 miles I figure that if I’m cold and gross (which is nearly as bad as hot and gross, but not quite), I can do a quick change into comfy sweats.

Since receiving it last month, I’ve used it for every single gym session and run and the towel stands up to my sweat. I’ve also washed/hung dry it at least 10 times and it’s still plush and snuggly.

By the way, while the company is called Orange Mud, this towel comes in a slew of different colors. There a cotton version and also the new microfiber option.

Want to get a Transition Towel? It retails on the Orange Mud site for $39.95. If you order now, you can use code “OMTRX” for 15% off! Also, join us for the Twitter BibChat next Tuesday evening at 9pm est, using the hashtag #BibChat! I’ll be there!

Check out my fellow BibRavePros thoughts:

Lindsey
Mary Jo
Lisa
Matt
Vanessa
Jonathan

Weight Lifting Wednesday

It’s been a while. Oops.

The holidays happened. Then I moved. Now January is almost over and I feel like I don’t know where it went. Gah.

In all of this busy-ness, running has kind of fallen to the curb. I’ve run maybe twice since the Baltimore marathon in October. I’m signed up for a couple of races this spring, but honestly, I’m enjoying the break. From running at least.Look at those musclesssss

What have I been doing in the meantime?

Lifting a lot of heavy things.

The boyfrannnd is a Marine and that means being in shape and PT tests and since we both like fitness (and beer and pizza), we find ways to workout together so we can eat and drink together, too. We’ve crafted a workout schedule that is mostly weight training, balanced with some cardio and I’ve really been feeling great. Physically and mentally. It’s a huge boost to my self esteem to see the numbers on the plates tick up week to week.

By no means are we preparing for any body building or bikini figure contests, but damn if my arms and traps and lats don’t look way better than they used to.

Weight lifting can be super intimidating – I get it – but with the right plan for you, it can be the best workout you’ve ever gotten.

Just to give you a taste, here’s a week in the life of my current training schedule:

 

Monday: Back/Shoulders

  • Pull-up pyramid(5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5)/push-ups (10) superset
  • Military Press: 65#; 4×10
  • Barbell Rows: 115#; 4×10
  • Lat pull downs: 104#; 4×10
  • Tricep pull-up pyramid (5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5)

Tuesday: Legs

  • Squats: 165#; 4×12 (we opted for reps over weight here, whereas our last training cycle was focused more on heavy lifts and I was squatting 195#-200#)
  • Deadlifts: 165#; 2×10

Wednesday: Chest

  • Straight bench: 105#; 4×8
  • Incline bench: 95#; 4×8
  • Decline bench 105#; 4×8

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Bi/Tri

  • Standing curl (27.5#)/dips (10) superset: 4×10
  • Reverse grip pull downs : 55#; 4×10
  • EZ Bar Curls: 50#; 4×10
  • Tricep pushdowns: 55#; 4×10
  • Rope curls: 55#; 4×10
  • Plate curl drop sets: 45#, 35#, 25#

Saturday/Sunday: Cardio 
IMG_2009
I mean, one of the most frustrating things I hear from women is that they “don’t want to get big.” Now, I totally get the not wanting to look like some juiced-up East German Olympian with a lady ‘stache, but muscles are hot! And being strong is sexy. I love looking in the mirror and knowing that the reason my shirt is a little tighter or my jeans are filled out more is because I can squat more than what my boyfriend weighs.

Stringing together pull-ups, a thing I haven’t been able to do since I was a kid, is awesome. The day I finally put up 135# on my bench press? I felt like such a badass. Not to mention the fact that lifting weights is an incredible way to build core strength (without having to do a million crunches or other silly ab workouts) and is great cross training for running, biking or other cardio-based workouts.

If you’re at all intrigued by weight training – ask a trainer about it! When you’re at the gym, don’t be intimidated, just do some reading and research and give it a try. Make a plan, start light and get lifting!

Three Is a Magic Number

A little Schoolhouse Rocks! to start off your Tuesday.

Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, I make my way to the gym at 5:30. Last Thursday, my trainer had my partner and I do something new. And it was a killer, which I’m still feeling the aftereffects of now (writing this on Saturday), so naturally I have to share it with all of you. After all, sharing is caring and if I’m suffering feeling the burn, it’s only fair that I pass it along!

We call this one “three is a magic number” – and when I say “we”, I mean me. My trainer doesn’t have cutesy names for things and I’m pretty sure my partner would make some ménage à trois comment.

To start, we each got a barbell with no additional weight. This is always a bit disconcerting because immediately I’m clued in to the fact that while the weight might not be great, the amount of reps will be. I used a 30 pound bar for this round of exercises.

Each exercise is repeated for three minutes with a minute rest in between. Fair warning, the three minutes last forever and the minute feels like fifteen seconds.

We started with clean and press. One might think that clean and press with a 30 pound bar is easy peasy lemon squeezy. And it is. For about 30 seconds. But for three minutes? Holy Hannah, does it burn.

Minute break? I’ll take it.

Next up is three minutes of barbell squats. Now I’ve got to say that my upper legs are a definitely ones that I need to work on so going into this set, I knew I’d be feeling it quick. And sure enough, I was. My quads and glutes were shaking in anger (and fatigue); they were so not impressed. 

Another minute break. Sweating profusely!

Finally, three minutes of deadlifts. Again, one would think this would be a piece of cake. That would be a big noperooni. It wasn’t as challenging as the squats or even the clean and press, but I was feeling it throughout, probably because my muscles fatigued from the prior six minutes.

This was only a small segment of my workout – less than 10 minutes total. Yet it was good stuff and one that I hope makes its way into the rotation in the future! I found that the key to this is to really take it nice and slow (not with breaks but to do a count with each – I always do a one, two, three and four); get into a repetitive motion and try to zone out mentally, yet stay engaged physically.

And because I know visual breakdowns are always fun…

threemagic

Tell me about something new you’ve done at the gym recently.

Road Tested: FrogFuel

Chicks Cam and Mer are always down for trying new things so when Mike from PartnersHub sent out the signal to try FrogFuel, we said, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send FrogFuel on over!”

frogfuelAnd they did! Cam and Mer each received three FrogFuel protein shots and a FrogFuel sticker. FrogFuel was created by Navy SEALS, Alex and Jeff.

Now, let’s be perfectly clear, the Chicks are nowhere close to being Navy SEALS. However, FrogFuel is now being geared for the “everyday athlete” and we do fit into that category.

frogfuel1FrogFuel currently has its patent pending. It boasts 15 grams of liquid protein with no banned substances, sugar, fat, carbs, gluten, or lactose.  So what’s in those little packets? Amino acids, including Taurine, which is said to help muscles rebuild faster so that you have quicker recovery.

Let’s see what Mer and Cam experienced with FrogFuel!

Mer:

Tuesday and Thursday mornings I’m up by 5am and out the door soon after. When I started working with my trainer last year, I needed to eat something prior to going there or risk fainting from hunger about halfway though my two hour session. Usually it was a banana or apple sauce.

However, my body has since adjusted to the more demanding workout and lately I’ve been lax about fueling prior to working out. I know, not the best plan of attack. And since I need to basically shut my mind off and get my workout done once I’m at the gym, thinking about fuel while I’m there isn’t really an option. Therefore, FrogFuel works well in regards to both time and what it can do for my body.

beforeafter

I took my “shot” at 5:16. The taste reminded me a bit of medicine (which might be why I have an aversion to berry flavored supplements and gels) but nothing that I couldn’t handle.

Headed to the gym and did my warm up on the elliptical and stretching. After my trainer arrived it was continuous “fun” for the next hour and fifteen minutes.

Five sets of twenty tire jumps (which I just recently conquered, thank you very much), twenty pushups and parking lot sprints. 80 crunches, 70 legs raises, lat pulldowns, squats, rows,  deadlifts, lunges, burpees, non-stop action.

I felt good throughout! Recently I’ve been pushing myself with the amount of weight I use. For my lat pulldowns I’m easily able to do a set of 20 at 55 pounds; if I want to push it, I go up to 65-70 pounds. This time I was able to do all three sets at 65 pounds. I’m not sure if that’s a testament to the FrogFuel, my strength improving, or at little bit of both. Let’s go with both! I repeatedly reminded myself that I was using a supplement created by Navy SEALS. They are superhumans! Therefore, so am I.

I finished up at 7:21, as seen by my lovely car clock. (TAPE? I’m not sure why it says that. Does anyone still have tapes? Apparently my car has a player if you want to sent me a mix tape.) Took another FrogFuel once I got home and before I got in to my much needed shower. FrogFuel can be taken before, during and after a workout and be beneficial. I’m a fan of benefits!

Cam:

I’m not good with routine. It’s kind of my nemesis. I try to stick to a good fitness regime but I tend to slack off right when I get a good stride. And summer is the best excuse to slack. Let it be known that I have not adequately stressed my muscles in three weeks. Unless walking from my beach towel to the shoreline counts. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

This week, however, I’m back in the swing. I FrogFueled on Tuesday before my Boxing/Boot Camp doubleheader. My classes are in the evening, so I had all day to prepare my body with good nutrition. I started off the day with juiced veggies and oatmeal. And it was all downhill from there. Movie theater popcorn and Sour Patch Kids for lunch was a bad decision. I knew this workout was going to be a beast. Luckily, I had a nifty little secret weapon in my purse!

FrogFuel literally saved my ass. I took the supplement about 15 minutes before beginning the first of two very strenuous workouts. It’s not tasty, but I’ve yet to find a supplement that satisfies my palate. I did like the consistency, though. Much lighter and easy to swallow. And I definitely felt energized, despite the poor food choices. After sixty minutes of jump rope/sprint/crunches circuits, shadow boxing and sparring, and three, 3 minute rounds on the bag, I was dripping with sweat and ready for the next class.

Boot Camp started out heavy. 10, one minute exercises, followed by one quarter-mile lap. Times three. By the second round of Super Burpees, I was definitely burping up my FrogFuel. I finished the session, but with great difficulty.

Given my poor food choices and lack of practice, I think FrogFuel came through in a pinch. I want to try it again, when I’m back in my stride. I liked how easy it was to drink due to its thin consistency and I found it comparable to other supplements I’ve taken in the past. Given the TWO Ragnars I have coming up, I may be switching out past favorites for the FrogFuel. Like I said, routine is my nemesis! I’m always in the mood for something new.

What do you use to fuel before a grueling workout? Have you tried FrogFuel before? Talk to us in the comments!

FrogFuel_Blog_App

Disclosure: We were given FrogFuel samples to try. All opinions are our own and we were not compensated for this post.

The Sox Box Rox!

One of the things we Scoot a Doot chicks have in common (besides a love of Tim Riggins. Oh, and running too. Ahem…), is a fondness for words. We like to talk, we like to write and we really, really like to read. Then we love to talk and write about what we’ve read. We consume words. So, it’s not surprising that we jumped at the opportunity to test a pair of socks from The Sox Box.

The Sox Box socks are brightly colored knee socks that feature clever phrases on each pair. These cool socks aren’t just for Crossfit anymore! There are several sayings that are perfect for us runners.

Not only are these socks made in the USA, but the company also gives back with every purchase. From their website:

“We honor those service men and women who sacrifice their lives in the name of freedom and justice. Their pledge and honor for their fellow service members and country is unparalleled and for that we must both rock and salute them! Our pledge is the lifetime donation of 20% of all Sox Box profits to the Independence Fund, a non-profit group that directly supports the wounded ill and injured service members. Silliness abounds at the Sox Box but we remain serious in our commitment to our brothers and sisters who gave the most for their country without question.”

Look good. Do good. But how do they feel? Chicks Brooke and Jess each tried a pair of socks. Here’s what they had to say:

Brooke:

I picked the “Run Faster” version to remind myself that faster mile times are ahead as long as I keep moving.

I couldn’t wait to wear these socks! I actually put them on as soon as they arrived in my mailbox, even though I was just lounging around with the kids. They have a nice cushion on the bottom and feel snug but not too tight around the calf. They’re definitely made for chicks (and dudes) with muscle! I wore them for a weight lifting session with my trainer and they felt great.

Luuuuuunge. Feeling tough. Looking tough!

Luuuuuunge. Feeling tough. Looking tough!

These socks washed beautifully (no fading) and then I wore them for an outdoor run on a humid morning in Florida.

My girl wanted blue socks to match mommy! You can see them under her (also matching) fancy slippers. This is her FAVE color so if my socks go missing, I know who to question first.

My girl wanted blue socks to match mommy! You can see them under her fancy slippers.

Again, I was impressed. I thought that they’d be too hot, but they’re very breathable. And just plain fun! I’ve already ordered another pair.

Jess:

I was super excited to try out these socks for two reasons:

1. They have such fun sayings on them. Who doesn’t want to run with “hot mess” emblazoned on their calves?

hotmesssocks

Okay, some of you might not. I loved it! You bet your sweet booty I’m a hot mess (but in a cute way).

2. Sox Box donates 20% of their profits to The Independence Fund, a non-profit group that supports wounded servicemen and women. I LOVE a company that knows how to give back, and it makes me feel good to get AND give.

Now for the lowdown: I did a brisk walk in these (someday I will run again) and these socks stayed put. I mean, they didn’t move an inch. Awesome! I also felt super supported in the calf area, like everything was held in where it needed to be.

The fabric mix is perfect here – Sox Box are breathable with just enough stretch. I never felt hot in them and when I took them off my skin wasn’t clammy at all.

All in all, I really loved these socks. They’re cute, they work, and they support a great cause. A true triple threat!

See more Sox Box knee socks on their website and in action on their Facebook page. Tell ’em you heard about them from the Scoot a Doot chicks.

Thanks to the generosity of The Sox Box, we have socks to give away to a lucky reader! Simply click the box below to enter.

Click the pic to enter!

Click the pic to enter!

Which pair of The Sox Box socks would you pick to rock during a run, Crossfit, or just lounging about the house?

The winner will be required to share their full name and address so The Sox Box can send you a sweet pair of socks! Giveaway begins 6/19/2013 and completes 6/25/2013.

Disclaimer: We received two complimentary pairs of socks from The Sox Box for review. All words and opinions are our own.

Kettlebellin’

There’s a new toy in my home gym (aka, my bedroom). It looks like a little black purse, weighs 15 pounds and it’s completely rocking my fitness routine.

Mama tote vs. kettlebell. The bell wins. Barely.

Mama tote vs. kettlebell. The bell is heavier. Barely.

I’m talking about the kettlebell. I first used one of these a few months ago, with my trainer. The weight isn’t evenly distributed, like it is with a dumbbell, so it can give you a more challenging workout, if you want it to. And I do!

Row with a kettlebell

Row with a kettlebell

I wanted to find a kettlebell circuit to do at home, because sometimes I don’t have time to get to the gym, and I also really like shopping for things, even exercise equipment. I googled a bit and found one that was perfect for a beginner; with pictures and clear instructions.

I’ve been doing this workout from Women’s Health once or twice a week for a few weeks now. It’s challenging. I feel like I’m getting a great workout. I love that I can do it at home, while the kids play right next to me. I’m hooked!

Squats while I watch the girls make art.

Squats while I watch the girls do artwork.

I read a fitness article in this month’s InStyle magazine, and one of the tips resonated with me.

photo(15)

Amazing advice for a busy mom, especially as I head into summer vacation with all of the kids at home every day. I have some ideas to incorporate workouts with them (pre-school yoga, anyone?), but I know we’ll be out and about, enjoying our break too. I’m going to try to stick to my workout plan, but I’m really happy to have a few ways to stay active when I can’t log miles at the gym (or outside because the Florida heat is hot, y’all).

Have you tried the kettlebell? What do you do at home if you can’t get to the gym? Any awesome summer plans? (I actually have an entire schedule for the kids. Lots of art, field trips, swimming, playdates, reading and some learning too.)

Chick Chat: How else do we scoot our doots?

Because we’re not just about running. In fact, some of us are barely about running. Ahem.

But when we’re not running (and working and raising kids and cooking and eating and talking about cooking and eating), we shake our little rumps in a variety of different ways!

We spin. We lift. We DANCE. So, here are the variety of ways we get our move on.

Meri

Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I wake up at 5:10. Twenty minutes later, I’m warming up with a couple of miles on either the treadmill or elliptical. From there, it’s stretching and keeping one eye out the windowed front of the gym, waiting for my trainer’s car to roll into the parking lot.

“Ron alert!” Our friends on the treadmill always call over to us.  They strength train on other days so they know just how appreciated this “warning” is – it lets us mentally prepare for the next hour (and finish up conversation).

Within this hour, I shut my mouth and listen. I lift heavy weights, do lunges with sandbags on my shoulders, drive my knees up while stepping on a box, and hold planks for two minute stretches. Burpees, sprints, tire jumps, tricep dips. I count reps in my head and try to remember the order of the exercises, which is difficult when your mind is just wondering where is the coffee?

I’ve been working with my trainer for a year and it’s made me a stronger person, both physically and mentally.

comparison

Vic

When not running, I typically take a spinning class at the gym, walk with friends or toss around my trusty kettlebells. I’ll do an obscene amount of crunches, often with a weight in hand and take an occasional yoga class. (Let’s face it. I’m not flexible and my balance is all off.) But for my favorite non-running activity, I grab an oar and  row, row, row my boat with a few friends.

Crew is a team sport and I am lucky enough to live near some pretty fantastic waterways, the Genesee River and the famous Erie Canal and to row with some pretty incredible women. In the spring, summer and fall, we hit the water in a sweep shell (that’s a 4-or 8-person boat where each rower has one oar.) Rowing is an incredible full body workout – it relies on a rower’s core strength and technique, both of which take years to master. Nope, it’s not all about your arms, that’s a myth.

I love rowing and the feeling of skimming across the water. I love that all rowers in a boat need to work together to pull as one.

In the winter, I often join friends at a local rowing center, in indoor tanks and to use the ergs, also known as rowing machines. As much as I try to pretend we’re on the open water, we never are. It not the same, but it is wonderful to have that year round option.

Vic Scoot Crew
Jess

I love to dance.

Let me repeat that: I. Love. To. Dance. If it were possible, my entire life would be one of those choreographed song and dance numbers you see in the movies. Flash mobs excite and delight me. I wake up in the morning singing (lately, it’s been JT’s “Mirrors”). I jam to my iPod on my commute to work. Sometimes I dance down the halls at work. What can I say? I’ve got the rhythm inside.

So, when I’m not running (which is quite often these days, as I’ve mentioned), I am dancing. I dance in front of the mirror. I dance for Bug. I dance for Bug and Mister Jess. Occasionally I dance for strangers, although this is purely accidental.

I have no idea how many calories I burn, or if I even burn any at all. I just love to do it, so I do. Wouldn’t it be great if that was the case for all forms of exercise?

P.S. I also do yoga, but dancing is more fun to talk about. JAZZ HANDS!

 Scoot Jess Dance
Cam
My other exercises are numerous.  Right now, I’m taking yoga, boot camp, boxing, Bulgarian Bag exercise and R.I.P.P.E.D.
R.I.P.P.E.D. is full body workout circuit.  It’s in its 11th season so the routine is constantly changing. Each letter stands for a set of exercises which is about 6-9 minutes long.  R is for resistance, I for intervals, P for Power, P for plyometrics, E for endurance and D for diet making for a 50 minute total body workout.  R.I.P.P.E.D. is by far the best all encompassing workout I’ve found.  It works every single muscle and it’s constantly evolving so there’s very little chance of plateau.  I’ve had the best results with R.I.P.P.E.D., I lost over 30 pounds and was certified as an instructor a couple years ago.  Whenever I’m feeling like my workout needs a kick in the ass, I go back to R.I.P.P.E.D.  There really is nothing like it.
Scoot Cam Ripped

Brooke

Does shopping count as cross training? No? Well, let me know if that changes, okay?

My pre-pregnancy cross-training consisted of stroller walking and the occasional hot yoga class. Now I’m trying to be smarter about it- it’s not just about running, it’s about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, right? I’ve started lifting weights and doing squats, lunges and all kinds of ab work.

I’ve also subscribed to Barre3 online workouts. Barre3 is a blend of ballet, yoga and pilates. The online workouts are awesome because I can set my iPad on the kitchen counter and work on my fitness right there. And oh my, do I feel the burn with these exercises.

Bec

I’ve always been sort of an exercise butterfly, flitting from thing to thing. I get obsessed with something and then it passes and before I know it, there’s a pile of things related to that fad in the corner of my room, collecting dust.

That is, until I found Zumba. When I say I love it, I am not exaggerating. Not even a little. And if you had told me two years ago that love and exercise would ever come out of my mouth in the same sentence, I’d have slapped you silly. Okay, well, I’d probably just have shot you a really dirty look from my couch, but whatever.

For me, Zumba transcends exercise and calorie burn (although it is amazing in both of those respects). Zumba is like an awesome Latin/Hip Hop class for grown ups (with no scary recital costume at the end of the year). I have so much fun in a Zumba class that I forget I’m working out until I feel the burn the next morning.

My schedule hasn’t allowed for as much Zumba as I’d like lately, and my ‘fluffy’ class is no longer going on, so I miss it! (And I miss my Katie!) Katie was the best damn Zumba instructor ever. She played awesome contemporary music – lots of Pitbull – and just had fun with it. I even liked it a little when she played Fire Burning, the routine for which could knock me flat on my butt.

So, with my schedule dying down a bit, my plan is to head back to Zumba and shake this weight off, humming Pitbull all the while.

Scoot Bec Zumba
So that’s how we get our proverbial burn on. Besides running, tell us how you get yours!  And remember, our Road ID giveaway ends tonight at midnight!