A Few of My Favorite Things

With the beginning of the new year, I’ve got yet another new fitness regimen. We’ve worked up some new strength programming and have put a new focus on some HIIT-inspired movements.

Sweating for the wedding is real right now.

In an effort to stay inspired in the gym and feel good about the work we’re putting in, in conjunction with Clay’s new role at work being very focused on helping lead PT for his unit, our workouts have started to look very different.

It’s awesome.

What’s even more awesome though, is that Christmas meant new fitness accessories – and consequently better workouts. Its always interesting to me how having the right equipment can make such a big difference in how efficient your movements and lifts are. I feel so much better in the gym now that I’ve solved a couple of workout woes.

So what am I loving right now?

Nike Metcon 2

These shooooesssss you guys. If you’re doing weightlifting and cross-training workouts, these shoes are going to be your jam. I’ve read about them for a long time (I read a lot of fitness blogs, okay) and many athletes have shared how much they love this shoe. It’s an ideal cross-trainer, because while it’s the tiniest bit weighted and flat-soled for lifting stability, it also have a flexible forefoot, which means running and agility drills are comfortable. (I was going to say no sweat, but that is not the case at all. There is a lot of sweat.)

I’ve been using these bad boys for a couple of weeks and I’ve already noticed a significant difference. Squats, thrusters, push presses, and deadlifts all feel better – the flat sole of shoe connects me with the ground, and the solid heel helps keep my form correct. Workouts have gotten harder, but my feet are happier.

Nordic Lifting Wrist Wraps 

Originally, I bought wrist wraps and straps for Clay for Christmas. He was about them and has used them pretty much every day he could since then. Of course, his raving made me want to try them… and I borrowed his wrist wraps on days when we were bench pressing and immediately I noticed the difference. I’d never really thought I needed or wanted more wrist support, but the added stability has really helped me to continue to move heavier weight at higher reps. My wrists feel safer all around.

Qalo Ring

I’ve written about my Qalo rings before, but I can’t stress enough how much I love them. Qalo offers silicone rings to wear in place of your wedding or engagement rings while you workout, work or play outside. Throwing around weights and barbells can do gnarly damage to your jewelry AND your fingers if something gets caught wrong. Not to mention all that sweat. No good can come from that. I have a couple of these rings and I wear them a lot – always when I’m at the gym, sometimes when I go to Kazaxe and on days when I’m doing a lot of cleaning or hiking or playing outside. They have a ton of fun colors and styles, and even some rings whose proceeds go to charitable organizations.

It’s important to remember, thought, that at the end of the day, fitness equipment is just that – equipment. It doesn’t work unless you do. It’s not meant to turn you into a super athlete, its meant to help you be more efficient, more effective and safer in your workouts so that you can get the most out of them. So, lace up, strap in and get going!


Nike Women’s Half shakeout run

It was a last-minute decision, to head to the Saturday morning shakeout run the morning before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

I had an insane work week that kept me office both early and late for several days. But I knew I wanted to see several friends, so when Oiselle teammates Amy and Gabby suggested heading to Nike Georgetown for a team meetup bright and early, I thought it would be the perfect chance to visit with friends I might otherwise not see.

shakeout5Birds and friends ready to fly, from left, Amy, Gabby, me, Jillian & Kyle.

Once in the store, we were all directed to the second floor, which I found odd since we were running outside and it seemed to create and extra unneeded step. So up we went and we were soon rewarded with two surprise guests – American long-distance runners Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

 shalanejoan1That’s how close we were! The ladies share a few tips

shalaneUp close and personal

Flanagan, 32, just ran the Boston Marathon last week, besting her own marathon time by more than three minutes. Hers was the fastest time ever for an American woman on the Boston course. She told us that she ran Boston with the intent to win, and is proud to have come away with a shiny new PR and knowing that she   set the pace that paved the way for other elite women to succeed.


Samuelson, 56, the first-ever Olympic Marathon winner in 1984,  and has raced through five decades.

Both women also shared a strong message with the racers – strive to do your best. That’s a lesson that applies to every aspect of our lives.

Moments later, the pair revealed the Tiffany necklace each finisher would receive after 13.1 miles through DC. I purposely didn’t look since I wanted to be surprised once I finished running.  We stretched and jumped around to warm up – and while tweeting I shared the above image with my Twitter followers.

Funny story: Shalane retweeted my picture! I was beyond excited. (it’s the little things.) Sadly, while I was jumping around, I bumped the account to one I rarely use. So if you follow Shalane Flanagan on Twitter…. look for HeardviaScanner. It’s one of my alter egos.



shakeout1A better shot! From left, Amy, Gabby, me, Jillian, Kyle and Anya

We headed outside, posed for the above pic, found our pace groups and set off for a 2-mile run around Georgetown. That is, everyone but Amy and me who were on a mission to locate our names on the participant wall outside the store.

nwh1Found me!

Because of our photo op, Amy and I were a bit behind. I nearly took out a photographer (oops! Sorry man!) as sprinted forward together to find our friends

Amy and I found every one of our friends and chatted as we ran. Thanks so much for an amazing run, my dear!

When we returned to the store, loads of Nike employees were on hand, cheering us in and treated us to some delicious Jamba Juice!

shakeout3Celebrating with Jillian

Then Kyle and I went shopping.

shakeout2She’s excited!

It was so great to see friends from across the country and to loosen up my legs for Sunday’s race. I’ll leave you with my fave image of my newest treasure, the Tiffany necklace,

nwhMs. Tiffany goes to Washington. (and the White House)

Here’s more my race experience but stay tuned on scoot for Meri’s take on the day!

Do you typically run the day before a big race?  If yes, how far do you go? Have you run a Nike race on either coast?

Chick Chat: Scoot runs DC

For the second time in less than a month, several Scoot a Doot chicks (and honorary chicks) are gathering for a weekend of food, fun and fitness.

That’s right, three short weeks after we ran the boards in Atlantic City, the chicks are headed to our nation’s capital for yet another 13.1-mile jog, the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon.


So it’s been months since we learned we’d be heading to Washington D.C. to run with about 20,000 fierce women. Brooke, Meri and I will be joined by a slew of amazing friends. (honestly, too many to name but we’re excited to see each and every one of you!)

Anyway, here’s what we three chicks are looking forward to this fine spring weekend:


I can’t believe this weekend is finally here. When we agreed to try the lottery for this race, my back-up plan if we didn’t get in was to go for the Broad Street 10 miler, and I was already attempting to convince my husband to run it with us- I was that certain that we wouldn’t get in. Needless to say, I am more than a little excited to be heading up to DC in a few days.

My plan for the race is to run at a comfortable pace and enjoy the sights. I’m not feeling any pain during my runs this week, but I’m not up for attempting a PR either (which would be unlikely anyway). It’s a nice flat course with lots to see- I’ll definitely be carrying my camera.

Beyond the race, I’m really looking forward to a weekend away with my husband, doing some shopping and seeing my girlfriends. Oh, and THE FOOD.



Having lived so close to Washington, D.C. my entire life, you would think that I would have visited there more than a handful of times.

That would be false.

I’ve driven through (on the way to and from Florida) quite a few times but haven’t actually spent much time in our nation’s capital. Therefore, I’m really looking forward checking out the sights while running and hopefully I’ll be able to do a little sightseeing besides the race, too.

The biggest challenge of the weekend won’t have anything to do with the race (I hope!) but rather being able to see everyone I’d like to see. I’m driving down on Friday evening. On Saturday we’ll be heading into the city. Sunday the race begins bright and early, and I’ll be back on the road on Sunday afternoon.

Whirlwind trip, for sure! With a race this big, there are so many friends running and I hope to be able to connect with them all. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll be able to spend time with everyone!

victorianameplateRace plan? You chicks are funny. I just learned yesterday what time the race starts (7 am for you kids following along at home.) I know the course starts and ends in the same spot, that there’s some sort of tunnel and lots of landmarks on a route that friends keep telling me is flat and fast. More than that? I really haven’t thought that far ahead, which is incredibly unlike me as I AM A PLANNER.

As a kid, my family went to DC all the time as my eye doctor was there. (Yes, I’m blind as a bat. Yes, I’ve had five eye surgeries. Yes, there’s so much scar tissue in my eyes that Lasik surgery or contacts are both bad ideas. And yes, we really drove to DC several times each year to see my eye doctor.) But as a result, we spent a lot of time visiting DC landmarks, including all sorts of monuments, museums and of course, The National Zoo.

You may know I was just in DC last month to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA marathon and 1/2 with my friend Traci. We had a blast but spent little time on the sights outside our mileage.

This weekend, I’m sure some sightseeing – and LOTS of eating – will occur and I am itching to wander around the Mall and amidst some cherry blossoms, the weekend will hopefully include lots of quality time with a few of my favorite chicks.

Might we be seeing you in DC? What’s your favorite thing to do in our nation’s capital? What can’t we miss? And good luck to all the runners!


Chick Chat: We’ve got you covered

Who has struggled to find the right sports bra?

If you’re waving your hands in the air, you aren’t alone.

The Chicks wanted to share the deets on our favorite unmentionables. Sports bras are the second most important piece of fitness equipment for women, aside from footwear.

And despite the fact, about 80 percent of women aren’t wearing the correct bra size according to Ellen Brenner of Fleet Feet Sports in Rochester. That means large- and small-breasted women alike aren’t getting the right support.

Brenner says a good sports bra must have the ability to wick moisture, breathability, correct proportions to minimize chafing, straps that don’t dig into the shoulders and a band that doesn’t shift or bind.


It’s said that best friends share everything… but I’m sure that whomever said that probably wasn’t thinking about sports bras. No, no, Vic and I don’t actually share our bras but when I told her I was looking for a new one, she recommended Moving Comfort’s Rebound Racer.


It was love at first wear! I appreciate the hold that this bra has – it’s comfortable and the girls feel well supported (and as a 36D, that’s important). Also, I don’t know if this is something that other people worry about but personally speaking, I don’t like people knowing that I’m… ahem, cold; this bra has a liner that assists with that.

Additionally, the straps adjust in the front, rather than the back, so you don’t have be a contortionist in order to get the right amount of support. And one of my most favorite things is the adjustable closure in the back. I’ve actually gotten STUCK in other sports bras, which is quite the sight. And thankfully no one was around to see it!

The only downfall is that these puppies are $50 a pop and a bit hard to track down. My local running store special ordered the one that’s pictured. But hey, I love them so much that I’ll gladly pay for good support!


I’ve literally been through dozens of sports bras in recent years — all brands, all shapes, all colors. I could not care less what color I sweat in, but I do need support — GOOD support.

To try to find a bra that worked, I used to track down a well-endowed saleswoman is a sports store and grill her about her choices. I’d jump up and down in the dressing room and jog in place. Maybe toss in a few jumping jacks. If the bra passed the test, I’d get it. And typically, I’d need a new one a few months later. Repeat process.

Then I found Moving Comfort. I walked into a local running store desperate for help and was fitted for lovely, albeit pricey, sports bras.

And alas, I met my new friend Fiona and my new bestie Maia.

Both bras have adjustable straps and a back hook closure. LOVE! And both bras are fantastic for women with C-cups or larger. I used these styles for several years, with replacement bras purchased each year. But last spring, I noticed horrible chafing even when using a newly purchased bra.

Because I’d been running regularly, my body changed. I could no longer use my beloved Maia, as I was now too small. My bra search resumed and I finally found  Moving Comfort’s Rebound Racer on a sale rack at City Sports.

Meri (above) detailed this bras perks. It’s supportive and comfortable, stylish and doesn’t leave chafing marks. I have two and need more.



My favorite sports bras are these little ditties from Target.  I’m not even sure which brand they are, probably Champion, but I adore them.

I’m not particularly gifted in the chesticular department so the skinny straps offer more than adequate support. I’ve had problems in the past with sports bras causing shoulder pain and neck tension but these offer just the right amount of stretch for all my athletic endeavors…yoga, boot camp, kickboxing, running, it’s comfortable in any scenario.  And I’ve purchased many of these in all colors because, yes, I’m one of those chicks whose clothes match her undergarments.  Even while sweating buckets.


Being a small-boobed gal, I’ve never really given much thought to sports bras. I don’t look for the best of the best; I’m not mega-concerned about support. My humble breasts (Shakira shout-out!) don’t need much.

That said, I do have a few that I rotate, all of them Nike sports bras. I love that they’re moisture-wicking and that they have the Dri Fit technology. They keep me in place and prevent me from getting sticky and sweaty, and that’s really all I can – and do – ask for in a boulder-holder.



I used to think that the only way I could get enough support without looking like I was wearing a bra, was to double up my sports bras. See, I like a snug fit. The compressed, uni-boob look? Fine with me. I don’t want anything bouncing around. I don’t like shoulder straps either; I prefer something that goes between my shoulder blades.

Fortunately, I figured out that if I spent a little bit more, I only had to wear one bra, and it would be exactly what I wanted. My favorite bra is Lululemon’s 50 Rep Bra, which has been discontinued. It’s the best bra! I picked up several before I got pregnant, so I’m stocked up for now. But once they’re worn out, I’m not sure what I’ll wear. Any suggestions?
Editor’s note: Fleet Feet’s Brenner said women who have been properly fitted for sports bras should not need to wear two sports bras at once to get proper support. Now WANTING to wear 2 bras is an entirely different story…

I feel like as a heavier (i.e. bustier) athlete, this is where I’m supposed to talk about my long standing struggle to find a great sports bra. I feel like I should have tales of mail-order nightmares and duct tape and every other ‘keep them from flying all over the place’ solution known to man. But in reality, I’ve never had too much issue finding a sports bra.

This may be due to finding out during a recent bra fitting that I’m not quite as big boobed as I thought I was. (Get fitted… it’s an eye-opener, for sure). I spent years wearing a DDD, only to find out I’m a D. Whoops.

My sports bra is a Champion C9 from Target and I love it! It’s super soft and comfy, and they actually come in a lot of fun colors (I have a black, a hot pink and a camo). It comes with either a full racer back, which I prefer, or with thinner straps. And the price? A cool $17. All in all, you can’t beat it. And I’ve only had one incidence of visible underboob during a particularly exuberant Zumba class.

Oh, and if you’re wondering if it gives you the dreaded uniboob? The answer is ‘kind of.’ It’s not too bad, but there’s definitely a singularity going on. But since you’re wearing it while getting sweaty and fit, I say rock that tube boob action!

What brand bra do you use to support your girls? Are you dedicated to one brand? Tell us in the comments!

Chick Chat: Hey, Sole Sister

Shopping for shoes is one of my favorite ways to spend, well, any day. I love all kinds- flats, sandals, heels, higher heels, and boots. Shoes can make you feel taller, they can complete your outfit in the best way, and you know what? You’re always the same size in a pair of shoes. (Unlike jeans. AMIRITE?) Sneakers aren’t my favorite type of shoe, but they’re probably the most important. The wrong running shoe can make your knees hurt, your feet blister and basically, ruin your run.

Today, we’re sharing our sneakers with you. (I argued for talking about high heels too, but I guess you all care more about this running stuff. Okay.)



I’m still searching for the perfect sneakers, but have recently fallen in love with the Adidas Supernova, which I was able to take on a test run before purchasing. They don’t feel clunky or heavy and don’t wear unevenly, which was so much of what I was looking for.

For years, I swore by Asics. I still like them, but my favorite style was discontinued a few years back and the newer models just don’t feel right to me. I’ve tried and tossed aside a few popular brands, but these Adidas Supernovas look AND feel great!


I have shoe issues. I have extremely flat feet which means any shoe with arch support feels like I’m running on tennis balls.  This might sound awesome but I assure you, it is not. I’m constantly at odds with my shoes. I’ve talked to countless shoe experts, had my feet and gait evaluated twice, have tried inserts and many brands of shoes.  And I’ve yet to fall in love.

Right now, I’m running in Saucony and while they’ve been okay on my feet, for the first time ever, I’m having shin splints. Le sigh. I’m going to do what the experts say and let my body adjust but sometimes I wish I had a fairy godmother who would conjure up a running shoe that was the perfect fit. At least they’re cute!


If I took a picture of every running shoe I have, this post would be ridiculous. Hey, I have to have shoes for every outfit possibility, right? At least, that’s what I tell myself (or Mr. Jess) when I see a new pair of kicks I. Must. Have.

That said, I most often reach for my trusty Nike LunarGlides. They fit like a glove, give great support, keep me light on my feet, and they’ve got some sweet neon accents. They’re functional AND cute, two of my favorite things.


There is a certain date that I remember distinctly when it comes to my running (and surprisingly, it’s not a race date!).  March 15, 2012, the date that I got fitted for my Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s.

Before that, to say I was floundering when it came to shoe choice would be an understatement.  It was a year long, expensive struggle trying to figure out what would work best for my feet. I don’t know why I was so hesitant to get fitted, other than a bit of new runner’s shyness on my part.

To quote Pretty Woman, “Big mistake!  Big. Huge.”

I don’t know if I got over my shyness or just wanted my feet to finally stop hurting, but I finally visited Haddonfield Running Company and got my first pair of Mizuno running shoes. Fitting was nothing to be nervous about; I spoke with the sales associate regarding my mileage. She looked at my arch, my gait, and my pronation. When I run, I tend to point my toes out slightly, which is known as overpronation. After trying three different shoes, I felt that the Mizunos were the best for me.

I haven’t regretted that decision and neither have my feet!


Brooke and I have loads in common; hopeful romantics, lovers of feta cheese, SHOES. I love shoes. A lot. I have way too many and I’m always buying more. The cuter, the better. So, I  want to be able to post a picture of cute, adorable, PINK running shoes.

Alas, I can’t.

I wear Nike Dual Fusion ST running sneaks. Size 12. Men’s.


Finding running shoes that fit my size 13 Wide Women’s foot is a challenge. I hunted around for HOT PINK running shoes in my size and found that the only options were online. Zappos is great and will ship for free both ways, but I didn’t want to go through shipping a bunch of shoes back and forth. For running sneakers, it’s all about the feel.

So I got over myself and gave in to shopping in the Men’s department. I love my sneakers. They are the perfect combination of lightweight and supportive. They feel so good, I want to wear them everywhere, but I don’t because A) all my other (i.e. prettier) shoes would feel bad and B) I don’t want these to wear out too fast. Still, I love them.

And, as Brooke and I discussed the other day, socks are of equal importance when it comes to running. Turns out we have one more thing in common. We’re both fans of the Balega Hidden Comfort socks. You guys, these socks are so darn comfy. And I just found out, they come in colors!! INCLUDING PINK!


I have narrow feet and a high arch, and I’ve been happily wearing Nike Pegasus sneakers for the past three years. They’re lightweight, supportive and they come in some great colors.

I was recently refitted at my local running store, Track Shack, to see if my foot had grown during my pregnancy and picked up these pretty (if a little plain, for my taste) gray kicks.

Every 400 miles or so, I change my shoes. I’m already eyeing the bright green on Nike’s website!

What type of shoes do you wear? Have you been fitted at a specialty store? Do you prefer neutral or bright colors? Let us know in the comments.