Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mizuno Running Shoe Review

I decided to do a review on my favorite brand of running shoes: MIZUNO! I have been wearing these for the past 4 years. I used to be a NIKE girl until I was properly fitted for my running shoes. I have never looked back! NIKE might have cuter styles, but I am older and wiser now and get my shoes for performance- not style.

My feet are on the normal side. I over pronate mildly so I was fitted with the Wave Inspire . It's so comfortable, light and cushiony! I have tried to veer from my Mizunos, but always end up going back to them!

I recommend going to a specialty running store to get fitted for your running shoes ( or walking shoes). I can't count how many people that claim to "hate" running ( gasp) or are always injured that I have sent to get fitted. They are now injury free runner's!

A great fit can make all the difference in your training experience!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Misson Monday

My Misison training is going.....not sure if it's going well or not since I am doing it on my own for the most part. I count my race and my running in general as training. I am just not so sure about the bike training. I was able to get on the bike yesterday for almost an hour. I rode for about 57 minutes and did 16 miles. I wanted to go for 65 minutes ( don't ask why), but then made it back to my destination too soon. My original plan was to go at a nice leisurely pace and concentrate on learning to shift gears and settle into the areobars. I need to spend time on the road getting used to riding. My competitive nature got the best of me ( as usual--I think I am getting better....ha). I wanted to see how fast I could ride a mile in- I cleared out my laps on my watch, but I was doing them in under 4 minutes. I had a 3:33 in there and the rest were around 3:45. I am not even sure what is considered good or average, but I was pleased with what that. I wonder how long I can keep up those times for 18 miles with more hills in the ride?? Eeek. It was fun though. I think that riding is a lot easier to do alone then running long distances alone. That is not fun AT ALL. I rode the bike on the same trails that I run on, but it was just a different feeling all together. The wind in my face ( and bugs), giving the friendly nod to fellow bikers and just pedaling effortlessly ( at times), was just an awesome feeling to have on a Sunday afternoon with beautiful weather!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day at the Races--A pictorial.

Today my family was able to race! Amara did a 220 meter fun run. Matt's uncle ran the 5k. Matt ran his fastest ever 5k to date and I completed my 3rd 10k. Not a PR today, but I can only say i did not run fast enough! I felt great. The weather was perfect. No excuses. I ran and finished a great race! Here are some snapshots of our fun filled day!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Fitness Fun!

Did you ever wonder how strong your legs were?? Or your butt? Or your lower body in general for that matter. I am wondering because I always though my lower body was stronger than most, but yesterdays Cardio Kick class really has me feeling sore, sore, sore! The class choreography was not too tough this time; it was what the insane instructor had us do between every song. There were 6 songs total I believe. We had to do 20 jump lunges. It was complete craziness. I loved it. Today I am totally feeling it today too. I guess I need to do 100 jump lunges a few times a week--or not.

A good way to test your lower body strength in the privacy of your own home is by doing a timed wall sit. All you have to do is stand with your back to a wall, feet hip-width apart. Be sure to press your head, back, shoulders and hips against the wall. Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold as long as possible!!

This is a great test of muscular endurance-the amount of time yur muscles can keep going full force.

Wishful: 30 to 59 seconds ( keep practicing!)

Sturdy: 1 minute to 1:59 ( WOW!)

Tough: 2:00 plus ( Mission Possible!)

Where do you fall on the rating scale? I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mission Possible Interview with Ali

How many children do you have?
How long have you lead an active lifestyle?
For as long as I can remember. I’ve always been active.
What is your favorite type of exercise?
Lifting weights.
What have you taught your children about exercise?
I think they are learning by example. They know it’s good for them. They know how to do basic exercises, but I prefer to have them moving around outside. They like to be fast and strong. I also like them to love whatever sport they are doing.
How do you stay motivated to keep fit?
It’s just my nature. I always want to look ‘different’. Unfortunately, different these days is to be in shape. I don’t want to not want to go out or go to the beach or be sexy because I don’t feel good about my body. I am trying to defy the aging process the best I can.
Do you have a blog?
Yes. www.aliswanson.com/blog
What do you blog about?
Contest prep, or just whatever comes to mind about diet and exercise. I try to stay up on it, but I’ve become very busy with online training and kids!!
One tip or piece of advice you can offer other moms to get their kids moving?
Don’t make it work. It’s something that comes natural to kids. Just get them outside and have fun!! If you go…they will follow. ;-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kid Stuff!

My 5 year old started Track and Field class at our YMCA last week. I was in track and field from middle school to high school so I think this is pretty neat. She seems to enjoy it, but she is easy to please for the most part. So far they have learned to sprint, long jump, hurdles ( high and low) and tomorrow is relay day! My little Energizer Bunny also has swim lessons on the same day. She is totally wiped out by the end of the day and sleeps like a log 2 nights a week!

Miles is starting to be a handful. He is so active and never sits still. Probably nothing out of the ordinary for an almost 2 year old boy! He dances, runs, jumps, gallops, climbs and jumps off of the couch, chairs, the dog and his sister. The boy is a maniac!

It's a good thing Matt and I are all for being active. We have really started to monitor the kids TV time. I know it's a hard thing to do. Lately we turn on our cable stations music channel ( no videos-just music) and just have that on most of the day. My kids do watch TV too, but we try to limit it to just a few shows a day.

We don't want them to be another statistic in America. Children and adolescence should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day! Encourage them to do things they enjoy and offer a variety of activities for them. Going for walks, jumping rope and riding bikes are easy ways to fit in the 60 minutes.

What are some ways you get your kids up and moving? I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Secret Clinical Strength Review.

I have a secret for ya. I sweat profusely! Yea, I know, we all sweat. But when I say I sweat I mean I SWEAT!!! It can be quite annoying, embarrassing and gross. I can look at the positive though. My body is VERY efficient at cooling itself off. Maybe too efficient if you as me, I even self-diagnosed myself with hyperhidrosis- over active sweat glands! Lovely.
I think I have tried every over the counter deodorant that claims to stop sweat in its tracks. I had not really found any that I wanted to write home about until I tried Secret Clinical Strength Waterproof! I noticed a difference almost immediately. You are to put the deodorant on before bed to let it work it's magic. I still sweat of course, but in my everyday activities I don't end up with a nice damp underarm mark on my non-black shirts! It smells pleasant and my underarms are actually dry! It's a different story during my workouts, but I am fine with that since it's an appropriate time to sweat like a dude! All in al,l this is my favorite OTC deodorant and would recommend it to anyone that needs a little bit more from their deodorant.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mission Monday

I will reserve Monday's for Mission specific blogging ( unless I don't want to!)

Yesterday left me wanting to get on my bike again! But I had to just settle for the spin bike instead. It was an awesome class today. It went over very well. It was an interval type class that had a bit of everything included. Hill, jumps ( which I don't like), runs and a 6 minute endurance section that made the class moan and groan. It also made me moan and groan--lactic acid build-up anyone?!!?!?
I will consider my spin classes training for my duathlon ( Mission) for now on. Yes, there is no wind in my face ( I can start facing the industrial fan to blow directly on me though) and I don't have to fight the elements, but I think that one of the main reasons I did so well on the outdoor bike yesterday is because of my Spin sessions. Good thing too; the race is 26 days away!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Let the training begin!

My Duathlon ( I am not sure why I keep capitalizing the word duathlon!) training has officially started!
My friend and I planned to meet this morning to do a brick workout. I have brushed up on my terminology and it means that we were to run, bike and run today-in that order!
Since I have not been on a bike in YEARS I decided to go out and do a few miles on my own before meeting with her so I did not make a complete fool of myself! I am happy to say that I did not fall. Whew. My borrowed bike is the best. It is fully loaded with gear and gadgets galore. It's a shame I have no idea how to use them! I will figure it out I hope. I don't even know when to shift gears, what gear to put the bike in or how to really use the sweet looking aero-bars. Hmmmm. Oh well! That's how I roll I guess.

So anyway. I rode about 2 miles or so by myself and then met up with my friend a few hours later to begin our brick. We did 2 easy miles at about a 9 minute pace and then hopped on our bikes and rode 7 miles. I think I did pretty well. My only mishap was dropping my water bottle because I was afraid to look down to put it back in its holster! I have clip in shoes and an still not used to that.
After the 7 mile bike we did our last run. It felt so weird getting off the bike and immediately running again. My legs felt like Jello! We ran for 7 minutes and called it a day. It was a huge wake up call! So far my goal for this Duathlon is to just have fun and finish it! Oh who am I kidding..I want to do well too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mission picked!

I normally do my own thing cardio-wise on Friday, but I subbed a spin class at noon.

It was pretty tough. I taught an interval style class with moments of endurance. The endurance sections were no joke! I was winded on that bike!

Well, I guess my next mission is a Duathlon! I signed up about a week ago. A week ago I had no bike or helmet! I am not the best swimmer so I am very happy that they have the duathlon as an option as well.

I bought my helmet finally! The race will be on July 18th and is a run, bike, run. I am very EXCITED and nervous already. I have not ridden outdoors in at least 5 years; probably more.

The race will be a 2 mile run, 18 mile bike and a 4.5 mile run. I hear the race has some rolling hills thrown in for fun. Eeeek!

Saturday was a long run. I don't really need to get many miles in yet as my next race is only 6.1 miles long, but I decided to run 11.5 today with the group just for the heck of it. It was really humid out this morning at 7am. We had some crazy thunderstorms over night and it left the morning very steamy. I have always liked to run in hot conditions for some strange reason. It took me about 1:45 minutes for today's run.

Oh, I got my bike today!! Well...it's a borrowed one, and now I am afraid it will be better than my future bike!! It's pretty sweet. All decked out with cool gadgets that I have no idea how to use. I plan on taking it for a spin tomorrow. I also will be using clip in shoes for the first time ( outdoors) so this should be interesting. I have been told that I will fall a few times and to learn the ropes before race day.

I have less than 4 weeks to train for this....what have I gotten myself into????

Thursday, June 18, 2009

EA Sports Giveaway @ The Dirty Shirt!!

Hop on over to the Dirty Shirt to win an EA Sports Active!!


Head for the Hills!

Hill training! I love to hate this. That was Tuesdays workout for running club. We had a 2.5 hilly warm up to the hills. We had to run up this STEEP grassy hill 6-10 times....I chose to tackle it 8 times. It was so much fun-- in a painful kind of way. After that we had to make our way back-- running the hilly 2.5 cool down. I decided to take all of Wednesday off from my own workouts. I taught a toning class at noon.
Today I got up and ran a 5 miler and went to the gym for some weight training. I plan on making it to the gym later to do the cardio kickboxing class at 5:30pm. I might skip this if I feel too tired. That's not likely though.
Amara started Track and Field class on Tuesday?Thursday morning as well as swimming lessons at night. I hope it's not too much for her, but I don't think it will be. She has more energy than I do!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Race Day!

Amara had her 1 Mile Fun Run on Friday evening. She did GREAT!! Most importantly she had so much fun. She ran her mile in 12:28--give or take a few seconds. She ran most of it and when she did stop it was for a maximum of 15 seconds. She was on FIRE! That's my girl! We used a lot of imagination during the run. At the end I even strapped on a jet pack to help her have a super fast finish. Hey, she's 5! Whatever works..... Her next run is on the 27. I don't think it will be a whole mile though.

Moving on to Saturday. Let me start by saying I am not making excuses ( that is never a good way to start a sentence!). I am very allergic to my in-law's home. They have a cat, blah, blah blah and it makes it so I have trouble breathing. I took Allergra thinking I would be fine, but I was way wrong. About 3 hours after Amara's race and sitting in the house I could feel my throat and lungs not feeling so well. Fast forward to 2am..I am still awake tyring not to cough. I was up at about 6am and felt exhausted and horrible! Anyway, we get to the race venue and do a tiny warm up jog ( to the Port-A Potties), and I could barely breathe. Yuck! Long story short. I ran the race and felt I held Matt back. He did get a PR--32:17, but he was worried about me and did not push as hard. Who would have thought?!?! Not me......but that's just the kind of guy he is. The race was nice. A few hills and some off road stuff as well. I would love to try this race again next year; or perhaps the 1/2 marathon option. It was well run and we got sweet wicking t-shirts too!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tech4 Ftiness Watch Giveaway @ 3 Kids and Us!

I came across a great blog with an awesome giveaway!
3 kids and Us blog has a sweet Tech4 Fitness Watch Giveaway!
Contest ends Monday, so get over there and try to win!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crazy for cardio...or just plain crazy!?!??!

Tuesday was non-stop for me. The day started with Turbo Kick. After that I did my weight training session. After that I went home and practiced my kickboxing skills for my class. A few hours later I taught my own kickboxing class. And finally, I went to running club to do a track session! We did a 2 mile warm-up followed by (8) 200 meters sprints to be done in 45 seconds; followed by a 2 mile cool-down. WHEW! What an overload of cardio I had. I am pretty sure I could be done for the rest of the week if I wanted to be. But I don't. I am a cardio-holic and I proudly admit it! I would never prescribe this much for a client, just for myself every so often!
Wednesday~ I dusted off the old jogging stroller and took Miles for a spin. We made it about 2 miles of walking and running and then picked Amara up from gymnastics. She ran/walked the 1.5 miles home! She did so well, I am so proud of her! Her mile fun run is coming up on Friday!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lightning Strikes

Sunday~ Turbo Kick! I won't even elaborate. I was able to get a bit or weight training in, but not as much as I had planned. I planned on running as well, but that did not happen either.
Monday~I planned on getting up at 5:45am to go for a 6-8 mile run. I was up earlier than that though. My human alarm clock is teething and wanted some snuggles. I was still able to get out the door by 6:20am. I should add that it was raining slightly. I was determined. I have run in the rain plenty of times right?!?! Well, I should have stayed home to snuggle with my sleeping son. My GPS never turned on and I decided today to run a new route! I then changed my plan of action to run 30-35 minutes out and back. At about 24 minutes into the run I noticed that my GPS had finally started to work!! It was at this time too, that the lightning started! Great. So I decided to run for 1 more minute, reset the GPS and high tail it back home. Good thing my GPS stopped when I reset it. I think I was running at least an 8 minute mile back home. I think I counted 4-5 more lightning strikes as well. It kind of freaked me out ( not to mention my GPS and MP3 player was not the best thing to be using), but it was also kind of cool. And it made me run faster so I burned more fat--right?!?! As it happens by the time I made it home the lightning had stopped and the rain was back to a steady mist and not a downpour( oh, and I made it back in around 21 minutes--negative splits!). I was feeling pretty good so I decided to run half a mile out and back to my house ( a route I already knew the mileage of). Despite the weather and near death experience; I felt awesome! I was totally soaked to the bone too. I figured out that I ran about 6.6 miles in just under 60 minutes. I really need to get the miles in before my 10k on the 27th! I taught a Spinning class as well. It was a half strength class and half endurance and all HARD. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that I did not have enough of a break after running or not, but it was tough. Loved it!
I later went to the gym to finish up my weight training from Sunday. My legs are pretty much shot!

Running in Thunderstorms
Never underestimate the power of a thunderstorm. It can roll in fast and unanticipated, especially in summer months, and as a runner you may find yourself far from shelter when you need it most. The overall annual risk of being struck by lightning may be higher than you think at one in 280,000, but that doesn't tell the whole story. This simple, maybe misleading, statistic is derived from the total number of lightning strikes divided by the total population including lots of people who by virtue of their lifestyles face a close to zero chance of ever getting struck. That, of course, elevates the risk considerably for those of us who do things outdoors.
Don't worry about all those flash to bang formulas for calculating how much time you have to fool around before lightning is striking around your toes. According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, if you can see it, flee it (take shelter immediately); if you can hear it, clear it (stop what you're doing and find a safe place to wait). If there's lightning and you are caught with nowhere to go, crouch in a low place with your feet on the ground and your hands over your ears to minimize the truly ear-splitting quality of lightning up close and personal. Don't sit or lie down; minimize your contact with the ground while trying to be as low as possible. Don't huddle; keep at least 15 feet between you and the next person.
It may be true that you have to be pretty unlucky to get struck by lightning, but common sense has an awful lot to do with it. Get more information from the National Lightning Safety Institute at
borrowed from: HERE

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Today was a day off! Matt is out of town and my usual sitters were busy. I wish I was able to do something a bit more aggressive then a small walk today, but that's OK. It happens and ya move forward!
My plan tomorrow is either running 6-8 miles and Turbo Kick, or just one of those activities. I would be fine doing both if I did was finished running by 11am ish..not sure that will happen though! We will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Early morning Friday.....

I was up and at em' at 4:35am today! I had a 5:30am client. Whew..that is early for me these days!! I used to be at the gym at this time at least twice a week. Ever since Miles became old enough to come to the gym with me I stopped those early mornings fast!!
It was a really good session. I stayed and worked out on my own after that. I did a quick full body routine and then 30 minutes on the elliptical machine on a cross training program. Another short and sweet day for me. I think this week was an "easy" one for me. Time to step my game up next week!!
My eating has been rather well. I took the week off from tracking calories and have not been on the scale in over a week and don't even care! I will hop on it on Sunday most likely and start tracking my eats once again.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Today was another short and sweet workout. One session of insane Turbo Kick instructor was all I could handle today!
I might have some obstacles to figure out this Friday, Saturday and Sunday due to the fact that my husband is leaving town for those days. I will do my best to fit in some structured exercise.
The weather will be perfect for being outdoors. I hope to get a longish run in; my 10k is at the end of the month!
I have a 5k in a week from Saturday that I am running alongside my husband. My 5 year old will be participating in a 1 mile Fun Run the night before. She is so excited. She ran a mile last night at our local track to prepare herself. Matt took her. When she came home the first thing she said was, " 1 mile, baby!" It was really funny.
I am going to Target to get her a wicking outfit! I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday-short and sweet!

Today was pretty low key I think. I was able to take a Spinning class this morning. It was very good! I then taught at 12 noon (Totally Toned) We did lots of side planks...groans galore. Unfortunately my abs were not sore from my core workout yesterday...Booo! Maybe a tiny bit, but not enough! That's all folks!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crazy for cardio!

Today was a busy day. I was able to make it to the gym for another great Turbo kick class with the crazy ( in a good way) instructor. After class I stretched for a bit and decided to do some core work on the BOSU trainer. I have used this contraption a few times, but I think I might do it more often when I learn what else I can do on it. I did some basic planks, push ups and plank with knee ins. It takes a lot for me to feel much with my abs. It must be because they are so strong. Or the fact that they are totally wrecked after my babies. I like the first reason better ( if only it was the correct answer!) I am hoping to feel some evidence of ab training tomorrow.
I then did a .75 mile walk on an incline on the treadmill. Mainly I wanted to watch some TV and this was the time to do it.
I taught my Calorie Killer class at 4:15 today. I made it up minutes before class and I think it went over well. There were only 4 ladies today and 3 of them said they liked it! I usually make up my classes at home, but today I just was not inspired yet! Nothing like waiting until the last minute. We did a bit of everything in class today--- Mountain climbers, planks, push ups, toning and four 3 minute Cardio Blasts. I tired to keep the heart rates elevated for the majority of class today. I hope I was successful.
Tonight was the first time I have been back to my running club since the 25k. It was fun. It was the recruiting meeting tonight, 4 mile easy run and then an ice cream social afterwards. It felt really good to be back!

I think I got my fill of cardio today!

Monday, June 1, 2009

How did I do this weekend?

Not too shabby!
Saturday morning I subbed a Power Spin class (60 minutes). It went really well besides a minor music malfunction. It happens; I think the class was fine with it.
After that my exercise was complete for the weekend. We went away for the weekend as a family and sometimes that is an automatic red flag for our healthy habits. It is only if you let it be I have learned! I thought I was going to run on Sunday, but plans changed so I didn't. I was kind of bummed, but hey.
My food choices for the weekend were not all that bad. I am actually happy with how that turned out. I prepared and brought some stuff in the cooler and that seemed to help immensely. I did indulge on Sunday dinner, but most of the foods were healthy besides the awesome brownie thing I ate!
Monday~ Back to the grind! Spin was at 10am. It was a pretty intense interval style class today. Very basic moves with a little extra something added to keep the class on their toes. I went to the gym later to lift weights too. I did my own thing today and just did upper body.
It feels so good to be back to my normal self again!