Grokker Review

As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I get a chance to review run products. This post is spoonsored by Grokker and I received a free three month trail to facilitate my honest review. The post may also contain affiliate links.

grokker-logo

If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know I hit a rut last year when it came with fitness (if you haven’t check out the post here: https://christinemince.com/2015/04/30/finding-my-balance-and-not-tipping-over/). This year I made it a goal to try out different work outs and fall in love with working out all over again, but between training for my races and my wacky work schedule sometimes it’s hard to get to different studios with a strict schedule.

So when I got chosen for the Grokker campaign I was super excited! I could do some cool work outs without having to adhere to someone else’s schedule or worry about travel. I also sometimes have to get my work outs in at 4am and with it getting darker out earlier and public transportation doesn’t start until 5:30am in Boston, I can get my work outs done without leaving my home!!!

My favorite work outs were definitely the HIIT ones, I like a nice short and sweet work out and these were short enough that I could do 2 or 3 videos hitting different body parts. Here’s one example of the videos I tried out!

https://grokker.com/p/j/bio3qyr4xb31

I also really liked the pilates and barre work outs. I teach barre myself so these gave me tons of new moves for my class! Lastly, I really enjoyed the spin classes! I love to spin, but as I said before it’s hard for me to fit classes in my busy schedule. I recently got a bike trainer so that I can use my own bike as a stationary one, and these classes are perfect to help keep my motivated for an hour and really challenge me!

I loved Grokker because there pretty much is something for everyone to try out and discover something they may not try with a lot of people watching them in class or too scared to even try it out.

Check out Grokker for yourself! Use the code: 99CENTS for 99 cents for first month of premium or you can win a free 3 month premium membership if you follow me, Grokker and Fitapproach  on instagram and tag a friend to win a free 3 months of premium membership to their site!

Advertisements

Triathlon Gear: the beginners guide

This week has been leading up to my last triathlon of the season, and as I was creating my packing list for race day I have learned to appreciate how little you need to run. Tri’s require A LOT of gear. Yes, some people take the minimalist approach, but let’s be real I’m a gear addict so I just dove right in. This is pretty much where all my money has gone this year. I thought I’d share my list and what I think you absolutely need not only for training but also for race day if you’re thinking about trying out a triathlon of any distance.
FullSizeRender (2)
Swim:
Wet suit: this one you don’t absolutely need one, but if you’re new to open water swims I highly recommend it for several reasons.
1. It helps with confidence in the open water, basically you’re wearing a full body flotation device
2. If you’re in the northeast or anywhere with cold water like I am, it helps keep you warm
3. It makes you faster being covered in one slick piece of material
Gog   FullSizeRendergles: kind of obvious, get good ones though, the cheap ones start to leak after a couple months.
Bathing suit: I got one on sale at City Sports….these can be expensive!!!
Swim cap: I got one for long hair to keep this mane in place, those of you with short hair are lucky! They are required at a race though, they have you one of a specific color for your swim wave.
Tri suit: I don’t have a full body suit but I do have a tri top and shorts. It’s not like regular work out gear, you wear it under your wet suit and it doesn’t absorb as much water and dries faster. Next year I want a full one because my top always rides up!
Bike:
Bike: well duh, Christine. I already had a bike, a Trek hybrid. But if you look back in my posts, I ended up getting a new road bike. The hybrid was so heavy and made riding not as much fun! On the road bike I’m faster, it’s easier to transport because it’s lighter and I’m sitting in a more comfortable position (in my opinion). Definitely get a bike that you’re fitted for your bike, believe me it’s so important to have the right size in order to prevent injury!FullSizeRender (1)
Clip in shoes/pedals: I just recently got my pedals and I LOVE being clipped in, I can engage my hamstrings more (saves those quads for the run!) and every time I hit a bump my foot doesn’t fly off the pedal. Yes it makes riding a bit trickier if you have to stop and go, but practice in a parking lot so that you get used to it first!
Helmet: mine is a cheap one from Target
Pump: you always want to keep your tires at the right inflation!
Trainer: I live in Boston so it’s hard to find a good place to ride without fear of being hit by a car so I got a bike trainer. It basically makes your bike into a stationary bike. I like this better than using a spin or regular stationary bike because I can get used to changing gears and the feel of my own bike.
Run:
Phew the leg of a tri with the least amount of gear!!
FullSizeRender (3)Shoes: obviously. Once again, get fitted. It’s so important to wear the right kind of shoe for your foot/body. It will save you from injury in the long run.
Lock laces: doesn’t necessarily have to be this brand, but basically it’s elastic laces so you can just slip your shoes on and not worry about having to lace up during the transition!
Race belt: save some time by not having to pin on your number! Just throw on this belt right before your run and you’re number ready (don’t forget it like I did at my first race!).
There’s still so much other gear that I want just because. But I’ve made it through this year with just this. Some things on my wish list (if you want to contribute! 😉 ) are:
Garmin 920, it does it all. Track swim, bike and run.
Bike gloves add some padding to my palms for long rides
Bike pouch always want to have the right tools!
Flip belt to carry my stuff on long runs
Goggles…I’ll admit it. I got cheap ones and now they leak 😦
Happy swimming, biking and running!

Ditching the scale!

IMG_0907For the most part of my life I have been a slave to the scale, it doesn’t help that I grew a dancer and a cheerleader where being tiny was praised and any extra ounce was frowned upon. Before I actually knew anything about fitness, I mostly controlled what I ate so that I wouldn’t gain any weight. Some times I would do some crunches and leg lifts in my room (seriously, I knew nothing about fitness in high school) or run around the block a couple times. I didn’t even really eat healthy, mostly just tried to keep my calories low, low, low to the point where I would black out during practice and would skip any family meals in order to avoid over eating. I definitely had a bad relationship with food, my body and the mirror.

unnamed (1)This past couple of months, I have decided to ditch the scale and my fitness pal and
focus on athletic abilities instead. Yes, I still want to feel good and look good and I still eat fairly healthy (with treats in moderation) but finding a sport I enjoy has made a huge difference. I feel better about my body and how I look because I know how hard I can push myself, how much I’ve improved over these months. Those numbers have become more important to me than the arbitrary number on the scale.
Keeping myself busy has also helped me not concentrate on the scale. I’ve filled my days with training, work and living life that doesn’t revolve around fitness like enjoying the city I live and and traveling without guilt. It’s really helped on the handling of my sanity. I can take a break from the plan do things like go to the zoo (I love all the animals!!!) or sleep in late my boyfriend.
IMG_0776
 I no longer weigh myself 50 times a day or worry about ever morsel I put into my mouth. I don’t have a goal weight that I’m aiming towards, I know that my body will eventually reflect that effort that I’m putting in. I’m also taking care of myself more, no more low calorie diets, I’m fueling my body for my work outs so that I can make it through them and do the best that I’m capable of.
So please join me in trashing the scale and loving your body for what it can do not what you see in the mirror!

Swimming, biking and running, oh my!: Marshfield Duxbury Triathlon

Let’s face it, I’m addicted to races. I love the community that it brings together, the rush of adrenaline and the feeling of accomplishment (as well as the finisher medals). I have some 5ks, a few 10ks and a couple half marathons under my belt from the past 5 years or so. I love challenging myself and while a full marathon is still daunting to me, I’ve been itching for something new. So last year after watching Rob participate in the Boston Triathlon, I decided that this was something I could do given enough time.
23417927_race_0.2769073403924117.display
So the past year I have worked my butt off to get into shape for a tri. I JUST learned how to swim (well, swim properly and not doggie paddle) in 2014, so I have focused on becoming a better swimmer and a faster a runner. The bike kind of came along on it’s own (and it helps that I got a pretty new Cannondale that’s much lighter than my old bike!) While my swimming is SO much better, the idea of open water swimming still is daunting. I know I know, I have a wet suit on and it’s like wearing a flotation device, but it’s very different than swimming in a nice chlorinated pool that eventually comes to an end. A couple weeks before the race I went out with my coach and practiced, in the beginning I had some anxiety and was slow and didn’t do the course we had planned. But I eventually did a full mile which was the goal for distance that day. I felt good afterwards and felt like I could conquer the open water in the race.
I was wrong. Terribly wrong. I started out the day already nervous, I didn’t know what to expect how conditions would be, the swim pattern, the bike mount zone and not to mention a beach run. But then as we’re running out to the first bouy where we would start the swim anxiety hit me. I could barely do three strokes without having to stop to breathe. I started doing a weird head above water breast stroke, side stroke combo. Once I got to the turn around though I felt much better and was finally able to swim normally and zoomed past everyone to the shore!
23415140_race_0.25631262029953683.displayThe bike portion was easy peasy. I was flying on my new bike, the back roads we were on were pretty, quiet and very little traffic. Not too many hills and fairly flat and fast. I loved it. Then the run. The run is my favorite part and it started off badly.
First, I read the athlete’s guide before the race cover to cover. One of the rules was, if you forget your bib number for the run, you will be disqualified. What do I realize as soon as I left the transition area? I forgot my bib number. SO for 3 miles I’m running along a soft sandy beach, glutes on FIRE, worried that my time won’t count and all this work was for nothing. Then I’m upset because I’m going so slow and I’m not doing as well as I know I’m capable of doing and I’m just mentally beating myself up.
All in all, I did not cross that finish line in smiles like I hoped. It took all I could to not cry as I packed up all my gear. But hind sight is 20/20 and I actually was a lot faster then I thought I was. I’m looking at this tri as a practice one for the Nantasket Tri next month in September. I have exactly 6 weeks from Sunday to kill it and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.
  23436849_race_0.8545832586380562.display

Queue Queen: I want to ride my bicycle I want to ride my bike

Let’s be real, I never really understood the value of a good bike. Growing up I was thrilled when I got a brand new purple bike for Christmas. It was shiny and new and had streamers and probably a bell. It was also probably from Walmart, but I didn’t care because I just wanted to show it off around the neighborhood.

bike1
Flash forward 15 years later, I’m 22 living in Columbus, OH and I decide I want a bike so that I can ride for exercise. I was all set to hop in my car to Target and buy another pretty purple bike (no streamers and bell this time…okay maybe a bell). My boyfriend at the time put a stop to that real fast and insisted I graduate from those bikes and get a real one. At the time I didn’t know what that meant, I had no idea that not all bikes were created equal and each type was made for a different type of riding. So I was convinced to go into our nearby Trek store and you can only imagine my sticker shock.
After my heart stopped racing a little bit, I decided on a nice blue hybrid bike. I was a bit too nervous to get a real road bike because the tires are so thin and there was no way I would be tromping through the woods on a mountain bike. I’ve had my bike for six years now (lets be honest, until last year it spent most of the time in a garage), and it’s been perfect for just riding around for fun.
bike
But in light of National Bike to Work Week, I officially became a bike commuter to work! It was a little scary at first because Boston is notorious for it’s horrible drivers and disrespect for road rules. Here’s some things that helped for me to relieve some city riding anxiety.
1. You DON’T need fancy gear. Skip the clip in shoes because unless you’re a pro, unclipping and reclipping every time you hit a light will become a pain. Stick with the basics, padded shorts (day two and my buns are sore!) and some flashy lights for at night.
2. Map out your route. Know where there’s bike lanes and where there isn’t. It also helps to know where you will have to change lanes so you’re not second guessing yourself while there’s a big garbage truck riding you back wheel.
3. This might seem pretty obvious but I see it ALL the time…DON’T wear headphones. It just is another distraction and it’s important to be aware at all times what’s going on around you. Seriously, I zoned out for two seconds this morning and almost got doored by someone getting out of their car.
 unnamed
I’m super excited to start biking more, my first sprint triathlon is in August (more about that later!) and this biking thing isn’t as easy as a trip around the block!