#BOSUstrong Challenge: Week 2-Stay Balanced

Week 2: 6 ways I stay balanced

Balance: 

  • the state of having your weight spread equally so that you do not fall
  • the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling
  • a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance

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If you forgot to join me last week for the #BOSUStrong challenge or just weren’t up for the cardio, make sure you join me this week as it’s all about the balance! We’re standing on one leg, lunging, and BOSU squatting our way through the week. If you’re a mom like me then I am sure you know the importance of balance in your life.

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Balance means more than just being able to stand on one leg, it also means being able to do what you love while making healthy choices at the same time. It means putting in the work and still finding time for family. Or eating those well planned meals but balancing it out with the occasional piece of chocolate cake. Or using your BOSU (workout) and workout DVDs (workout) at home when you can’t make it to the gym.

The 6 Ways I Stay Balanced:

Here are the 6 ways I stay balanced – what are yours?

  • I make time for myself by squeezing in a lunchtime workout during the work week.
  • My favorite me time is going for a long run in the crisp fall air.
  • My rule when it comes to a balanced diet is allowing some flexibility.
  • I make fitness a priority by __making it part of my family-time___.
  • When I get stressed or overwhelmed, my go to is __meditation or a long hot bath___.
  • I do __my best to prepare healthy meals and be an example for healthy living__ to help my family stay balanced.

So I want to know – are you #BOSUStrong? Copy and paste the above, fill it in and make it your own and then tag me in it and share with your friends! Let’s all be #BOSUSTRONG.

The daily prompts are below. You can also follow along HERE.

Week 2, it’s all about that BALANCE (9/21-9/25):

(Make sure you tag @Bosu_Fitness on Instagram & @BosuFitness on Twitter):

  • Monday, 9/21: Happy Monday sweaties, this week we’re all about that balance. Let’s see you stand on one leg – ready, set, GO! #BosuStrong #SweatPink #FitFamily @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Bonus: Y’all know we love to #jumpjoymonday! Show us your BEST jump shot and tag @BOSU_Fitness @FitApproach #BOSUStrong #FitFamily #SweatPink #ad
  • Tuesday, 9/22: We want to see you #dropitlikeasquat…on your BOSU or perhaps one leg? #BosuStrong #SweatPink #FitFamily @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Bonus: It’s time for #treetuesday! Show us your best tree pose. @BOSU_Fitness @FitApproach #BOSUStrong #FitFamily #SweatPink #ad
  • Wednesday, 9/23: Let’s lunge it out sweaties! #BosuStrong #SweatPink #FitFamily @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  •  Bonus: #workitwednesday, show us how you’re workin’ it this Wednesday and tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Thursday, 9/24:  It’s #totalbodythursday. Show us your favorite total body balance  move! #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Bonus: Give us a #tbt of a time when you really challenged your balance (feel free to get creative!) #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Friday, 9/25: #FreeFriday. Show us your favorite way to get your balance on! #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
    • Bonus: Happy #forearmfriday. Let’s forearm plank it out y’all! #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad

Notes: You do not need to own or have access to a BOSU to participate. By participating you will have a chance to win a BOSU and other fun prizes. And please, if you are using a BOSU throughout this challenge, never stand on your BOSU with the dome facing down (images or moves down on the BOSU incorrectly will not count during this challenge).

Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by BOSU but all opinions expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Fit Approach (Sweat Pink) community.

#BOSUstrong Challenge Starts Monday 9/14/2015!!

Today I am embarking on a 4 week challenge with BOSU and Sweat Pink to prove to the world that I am #BOSUSTRONG.
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 I will squat, mountain climb, plank, push-up, lunge, crunch, and balance my way to a stronger core and leaner body.  And I will encourage my family, fit friends, and fellow challengers to join me on this fun journey because we are one big, happy #FitFamily.

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Being #BOSUStrong is not just about movement, sweat, or even owning a BOSU, its about being a leader, an inspiration to others, and sharing my own fitness journey with others. The 5 things that make be #BOSUStrong are:

  • My strong__determination__.
  • My ability to_persevere___.
  • My love for__health and fitness__.
  • My healthy __mindset__.
  • And my _desire to help others achieve their goals_.

So I want to know – are you #BOSUStrong? Copy and paste the above, fill it in and make it your own and then tag me, @sarah_griff_fit in it and share with your friends! Let’s all be #BOSUSTRONG.

And don’t be afraid to get your family and little ones involved!  The great thing about this challenge is that anyone and everyone can participate!  I’m eager to use the BOSU to aid in my PT for my running injury (which, I’ve yet to mention on here–oops! I’ll update on that soon) and to combine with my favorite Beachbody workouts.

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As usual, little man is always eager to join me on my ventures and pretty soon he’ll be receiving his very own mini-BOSU (the BOSOsport) along with workouts geared towards kiddos. We’re lucky enough to also be participating in the #FitFamily challenge as well!

SO!! Are you ready??  Let’s get #BOSUstrong together and hustle for the muscle.

The daily prompts are below. You can also follow along HERE.

Week 1 Instagram prompts (9/14-9/18):

(Make sure you tag @Bosu_Fitness on Instagram & @BosuFitness on Twitter):

    • Monday, 9/14: It’s #MOUNTAINCLIMBMONDAY! Show us your favorite way to climb that mountain whether it be with hiking poles, in plank position or….? Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Bonus: Y’all know we love to #jumpjoymonday! Show us your BEST jump shot and tag @BOSU_Fitness @FitApproach #BOSUStrong #FitFamily #SweatPink #ad
  • Tuesday, 9/15: #tempotuesday we want to see how you’re getting your heart rate up today. Tag @BOSU_Fitness @FitApproach #BOSUStrong #FitFamily #SweatPink #ad
  • Bonus: Show us your favorite tricep workout and tag #triceptuesday and #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Wednesday, 9/16: Drop down and give us some #BURPEES! Even better if you can make them #BOSUBurpees! Tag  #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Bonus: #workitwednesday, show us how you’re workin’ it this Wednesday and tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Thursday, 9/17: It’s #totalbodythursday. Show us your favorite total body cardio move! Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Bonus: Give us a #tbt of the most brutal cardio workout you’ve ever done! Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Friday, 9/18: #FreeFriday. Show us your favorite way to get your cardio on! #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
  • Bonus: Put those forearms to work. Show us your BEST cardio move for #forearmfriday. Forearm plank mountain climbers, dolphin push-ups, forearm plank toe taps…something else? Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad

Notes: You do not need to own or have access to a BOSU to participate. By participating you will have a chance to win a BOSU and other fun prizes. And please, if you are using a BOSU throughout this challenge, never stand on your BOSU with the dome facing down (images or moves down on the BOSU incorrectly will not count during this challenge).

Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by BOSU but all opinions expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Fit Approach (Sweat Pink) community.

Race Recap: The Color Run Shine, Rochester NY 5/23/15

  
This past weekend I experienced the joy of my very first color run.  It was made extra special because it was also my very first race with my momma!  As a 64th birthday gift to her, I invited her along with me and she eagerly trained and prepared for the race during the month of May.

This was by far the best race that a newbie runner can do (lots of walk breaks built into the race).  She was a little nervous because she’d only been training for 4 weeks, but I told her I wouldn’t leave her side.

  

She did wonderfully and I followed her throughout the course and did my best to give her the gentle nudge when she needed it.    

The walk breaks came at each color check point (and occasionally in between).  They provided perfect opportunities for midrace selfies.  

We had a blast and I couldn’t be more proud of my momma for accomplishing her first 5k race.  She did amazing!!

I love that this run was the perfect starting point for her.  She’s definitely caught the run bug and is eager for her next big race.  I’m so proud of you mama!!

   
 

Do you love The Color Run?!  How many have you done?  

How Running Saved Me From Facing My Worst Nightmare

Do you remember one of my first posts on here?  It spoke of my reasons for starting my journey.  The biggest reason was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my speedy toddler.

By his first birthday he was well adjusted to walking (he started at 8.5 months) and had nearly mastered running.  I remember chasing him down our hallway (our very short hallway) and getting winded.  It scared me.  I had the realization that some day soon my son would be fast enough to get away from me.  What would I do if I couldn’t catch him?  What if he wriggled away and ran in front of a car because I couldn’t react quickly enough because I was too out of shape?  I needed to do something so that I could commit to being the best mom I could be.”

On this sunny Saturday I faced that fear head on and I am forever grateful that my maternal intuition led me to the life I’m living today.  Without it, that Saturday could’ve been the worst day of my life.

We were having such a fun day, we started our day together at the diner with a mommy son breakfast date.  Connor is growing so much and spending alone time with him has been such a joy.  

  
We chatted about his likes and how we were going to have so much fun at the park later.  It was the start to a perfect day.

We joined my friend and her daughter for a play date at the Cass Park playground and followed it up with a walk around the waterfront trail.  All was fine and I let Connor walk freely by our side,  he’s gotten much better at listening and slowing down when I ask.

I didn’t let him get too far ahead of us (maybe 15 feet) and was mindful of our surroundings.   The busy road was far off in the distance and the path we were on didn’t lead directly to it. 

 

But, just as he should have been turning to cross the bridge he decided to change course and cut into a sprint.  Before I knew it he was straight on his way to the busy road and my calls for him to stop were pointless–he wasn’t listening.

 
It happened so fast.  I didn’t have time to think–I dropped everything in tow and sprinted after him.  He thought it was hilarious as he looked over his shoulder to see mommy chasing him.  It was a game to him and he ran even faster without looking ahead.

I reached him just in time.  He was within a foot or two from the road as I grabbed his shoulder. 

My heart was in my throat. 

We had just dodged a bullet and I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  I know it might sound like I was being a careless mom, but he really wasn’t too far ahead and I never expected him to sprint off like that.  

I’ve never been a fan of the idea of putting your child on a leash, but on a day like that I wish I had!  I couldn’t help but think about how this fear is what really pushed me on my journey to become a runner. 

I have no doubt in my mind that if I hadn’t made a change 2 years ago the outcome of the day wouldn’t have been so lucky.

I know my body back then couldn’t have handled the sprint to catch him.  I wouldn’t have been fast enough–adrenaline can only go so far.  

Writing this post has my heart pounding!  It gives me such anxiety to think of what could have happened.  I’m actually nearly brought to tears thinking of what could have happened.  

I’m forever grateful that I changed my habits.  My son will forever keep me on my toes and I can only hope to keep training so that I can always keep up.  

Have you ever been in a situation like this?  Do you have speedy toddler on your hands?  What do you do to keep up with them?

Race Recap: Seneca7-77.7 Mile Relay Race 4/19/15

Back to back race weekends are not something I am used to and likely not something I would recommend. In short, my body and mind are exhausted, but it was so worth it.

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If you’re from the area and you are a runner chances are that you’ve heard of the Seneca7 relay race.  It’s fairly new (5 years old) and this is my second year participating in the fun.

Last year I was just on the mend from bronchitis by race day, this year I was facing a similar fate.  My cough was finally gone, but my body was still under-conditioned due to the 3 week hiatus and not quite ready for another long day of racing.  I was nervous and being runner 7 didn’t help calm my nerves.  I always get nervous before a big race (even if the outcome doesn’t matter) and I had to sit around and watch every other runner on my team complete their legs before I had a chance at my own.

Leg #7:  4.1 miles, 00:49:06, 12:01 pace

When it finally came time for leg#7 I was ready (or at least I thought I was).  I knew my distance was 4.1 miles, but I failed to fully checkout the elevation chart for that first leg.  Can you guess what it looked like??

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It was a lovely 4.1 miles of an uphill climb.  It wasn’t the worst of hills, but for someone like me who was still physically recovering from a hilly half, it was brutal. Not the way I envisioned starting out my long day of racing. Seeing my finish pace of 12min/mile was defeating.  How could I have slowed down so much since last year?  What was going on?

In short, hills suck.  They suck the life and energy out of every muscle in my body and are a literal pain in my ass.

Leg#14: 3.1 miles, 00:35:24, 11:26 pace

Leg 14 felt a lot better, but I still couldn’t get past the mental game that was going on in my head.  Why on earth was I still moving so slow?  Why were so many people passing me while looking so light on their feet?  Why couldn’t I push myself more? I’m used to being slow, but back to back weekends of getting slapped in the face with the slow stick was definitely starting to take its toll on my mind.

Leg #21: 3.7 miles, 00:43:13, 11:45 pace

My final leg was a relief, not because it was easier, but because I was that much closer to ending such a long day.  I was spent and all I wanted to do was drive home and get cozy with my bed and pillow.  Being the last runner was so much more challenging than I had anticipated.  Watching each of my teammates finish their final legs while I was still awaiting mine had me wishing I was runner 1.

I sucked it up and finished off as strong as I could.  By the time I reached the team reunification point I was running on E, but felt a final kick of power set in.  I picked up my pace for the last quarter mile and lead my team across the finish.  I was done.  We were done.  FINALLY.  Team Prepping For The Zombie Apocalypse had finished their last year with the namesake.  11149652_10204073362049783_2168526844668261403_o

 

 

 

Race Recap: Skunk Cabbage Classic Half Marathon, Ithaca NY 4/12/15

“…talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.”
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

   

 

Well, I did it!  I finished my second racing half marathon!  It wasn’t at all as I had planned–this was supposed to be the race I would PR in and where I finally hit sub 2:30, but that didn’t happen and I am okay with it.

Training for this half was touch and go and there were times where I wasn’t sure if I should stick with it.  At the end of February shortly after a 10K training run I was hit with the worse case of flu/bronchitis that I’ve experienced since college.  It hit really hard and took me out of training mode for 3 weeks.  Three weeks might not seem like a huge chunk of time, but it was and it left me with just 4 weeks to retrain my body to run 13.1 miles.

I went in without high expectations and accepted the fact that this would not be the race I had initially hoped for.  What I didn’t account for was how mentally challenging it would be.  This race was probably one of the most difficult ones to date.  I was (and still am) fighting yet another cold with a cough and the medication I take does wonders, but it also dries me out.  By mile 4 I was regretting my decision to stick with the half–I kept wishing I had just downgraded to the 10k.  I was parched and my lungs burned as I sputtered out dry coughs.

The inner dialogue I had with myself was at times comical, but mostly I kept repeating, “FUCK! Why is this so hard?  What am I doing here.  Why didn’t I downgrade.  9 more miles?!  What in the actual fuck?  How will I make it through”.

I am a slow runner, but this is the first time I’ve truly experienced true back of the pack racing.  It adds to the mental challenge.  You find yourself racing solo and the walk breaks are so much more tempting.  The urge to quit is that much greater and every ounce of pain is magnified.  I had no music to distract me and no friends to push me forward.  It was hard.  I felt like I was failing.

The rolling hills didn’t feel like rolling hills, they felt more like a constant gradual incline with the occasional downhill.  With the steeper hills I found myself walking and fighting so hard not to lose momentum.  I’m not typically a run/walker–I would much rather keep a slow and steady pace than break and restart.  This is the first race (aside from the full marathon) where I continually needed to walk and it was frustrating.

Though I spent a lot of time running alone, I was sandwiched between a couple of runners, yellow shirt guy and neon shirt lady.  Both had pulled ahead of me at various points during the race and my goal was to stick with them.  I didn’t want to finish behind them so I did my best to conserve my energy for a strong finish.  I took advantage of the downward hills and used them to catch up, but they still remained ahead of me until mile 11-12.

Having the finish on one of my regular routes was definitely beneficial for my final stretch.  I knew after mile 12 that the remainder of the course was on a slight downhill.  I knew that I’ve run down that same path on Tower road and that I would always finish my lunch runs strong.  I knew that I already had 11 miles behind me and that giving up in the last mile would have been for someone weaker than myself.  I knew that my heavy legs still had some life in them.

I powered through and pulled ahead.  I passed both yellow shirt guy and neon shirt lady.  I know it probably didn’t mean much as far as boosting my finish time, but I dragged myself across the finish at 2:55:30.  It was 21 minutes past my PR and I was legit 592/598.  It almost embarrasses me to post that time and place, but what can I do?  Why be embarrassed?

It’s these moments of humility that strengthen us.  It’s these moments where we wanted to quit but didn’t that show us we are capable of greater things. I know I will do better and that this race doesn’t define me as runner.  If anything it has taught me a lesson about perseverance and pride.  Pride for those back of the pack runners.  No one knows true strength and determination until you’ve experienced running a race at the back of the pack.   It’s an experience every runner should feel.  I know it’s opened my eyes for appreciation of what our bodies and minds can achieve.

Did you race this past weekend?  Were you at Skunk Cabbage?  Have you ever experience a lesson in humility during one of your races?

Product Review & Giveaway: MealEnders

Disclaimer:  This is an unbiased review.  As an SPA, I am often provided with opportunities to review certain fitness/health related products.  I was not paid for my review, but did receive a free product for testing.

 ****WINNER ANNOUNCED!  CONGRATS NICOLE!****

A few weeks ago I was awarded the opportunity to try out MealEnders signaling lozenges.   What are MealEnders?  They are toted as the cure to overeating and work by acting on our body’s physical and psychological cues to help you avoid overeating and master portion control.

 

According to the MealEnder’s website this is how they work….

“MealEnders’ active-taste formula rewards and resets your taste buds, distracting you from the temptation to overindulge.  First the delicious Reward Layer treats you to the sweet taste of dessert – a signal we typically associate with the end of a meal.  Then the Inner Core’s Active-Taste Layer releases a proprietary blend of gentle, cool tingling sensations on the tongue, which engage the trigeminal nerve, distracting your mind from the urge to continue overeating.  You can feel your MealEnder go to work instantly.”

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I wasn’t quite sure what to think when I heard of this theory, but figured it couldn’t hurt to give them a try.  I’m all for finding things that can help stop my brain’s hunger signals and popping a piece of ‘candy’ seemed easy enough.

TASTE:

Let’s first talk about taste!  These little lozenges were not what I expected. I imagined that they would just be straight up hard candy that I would suck on.  They’re not just hard candy though, they are coated in a creamy outer layer that is super decadent.  I loved each flavor, but my favorite was the Chocolate Mint.

Chocolate Mint:  These reminded me of Andes mints and they were delish!  The only down side is that they left me craving Andes mints!

Cinnamon:  These were not what I expected, the flavor is reminiscent of apple pie or coffee cake.  I unexpectedly enjoyed these.

Citrus: These reminded me of lemon custard or a creamy lemon meringue flavor.

Mocha:  These were my least favorite of the flavors, but they were still good.  I’m just not a huge mocha person.

EFFECT:

I wish I could say that these little lozenges are miracle workers, but I can’t.  I do think they aid in keeping your mind occupied after you’re finished eating a meal, but for me the first few minutes of tasting the creamy outer layer send me into craving mode.  I know this might not be the case for everybody, but I try to avoid candy like foods because they are triggers for me.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t think they had a positive effect.  I did find that waiting it out and getting to the end of the lozenge did help to stop my urge to eat more.  The taste of the lozenge changes as you work your way through and the unique tingling sensation at the end does help to turn of the urge to eat more.

I do like having them for days where I struggle with overeating, but I don’t feel like they are meant for me at every meal.  I might be more apt to use them when I’m dining out or indulging in foods that I am more prone to overeating.  I know that right now, with my current meal plan, I’m having a hard enough time eating all of the food on my plate (I’m in a higher bracket of the 21 Day Fix Extreme plan and it’s a lot of food!) and adding in a hunger stopping lozenge doesn’t make sense.

In short, I do sense the effect and have seen the most success with using them after an evening meal (when hunger cues are high).

OVERALL RECOMMENDATION:

I recommend these lozenges for your cheat meals or for when you have a hard time shutting off the hunger (when you know you’ve had enough to eat).  I don’t necessarily think they are good for people like me that struggle with craving triggers–for me these often left me craving more chocolate or sweets and for the 20 minutes I worked on them I couldn’t stop day dreaming about desserts.

I do feel like once you get to the end the effect is greater, but I find it hard to believe that you can’t achieve the same effect by brushing your teeth immediately after a meal.  I will continue to use the remainder of the product and hope that my view may change, but upon my initial uses I’m not extremely impressed.

I do think they would work great if you’re someone that doesn’t struggle with food triggers and would highly recommend them to you.  For me the triggering effect is too high and I felt like it outweighed the benefit.  I should add that on the days where the trigger wasn’t as bad I did notice a decline in my hunger cues, especially when used in the evenings.

GIVEAWAY:

If you’re interested in trying these out for yourself be sure to get entered into my giveaway!!  To enter visit the link below and get entered!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b5cbf0ec4/?