Follow this link to get a free Agion Active Treated Shirt.

And after you've worked out in your new shirt, you will probably need to go to Dairy Queen. Follow this link to sign up for the DQ Blizzard Fan Club and you'll get a Blizzard BOGO coupon.

For other freebies, this blog is awesome! Enjoy!

Spinning Class/ 24 Hr Fitness Review

My friend Mic invited me to go to a spin class with her, so it seemed that the time had come to try out this spinning thing I keep hearing about. All I knew about it was that it's on a bike, it's hard, and you sweat a lot. My friend Mic goes to the HUGE 24 Hour Fitness on Parker Rd and Arapahoe, and she was kind enough to get me a 24 day free trial.

I wasn't crazy about the girl who was trying to get me to join, but the gym is wonderful. The first floor has big locker rooms, pools, and an outside workout area, rooms for classes, a basketball, racquetball etc. The cardio area is HUUUGGEEE. The elliptical machines and stair steppers and whatnot all have personal tv screens attached. She told me that they had to remove the screens from the treadmills because people got dizzy from the tvs and would fall off (???). There's loads of weights, and also a big area for the kinds of exercises we do in crossfit (with exercise balls, weighted balls, etc). There's also a really nice long track that goes around the perimeter. But the coolest thing was that someone came around to refill our water bottles in the middle of the class! That was so awesome.

Anyway, we went to the class and the teacher was great. She helped me get my bike ready and showed me the proper technique. I liked how she described the level of difficulty you should be at as a range between 1-10, and how you would count how many times you pedal to make sure you're going fast enough. It was a tough 1-hour workout, but it was personalized to everyone's level based on how you set the resistance. I thought I worked hard and did fairly well overall. It was definitely tough, but I liked it and want to go back!

I'd kind of like to join, but I don't know. It's $50 down and $50 a month. I'm not sure if makes sense for me to spend that since I work out at work twice a week and can run outside for free when it's warm enough. I only go to the rec center on days when it's too cold to run (I'm a wimp, so that's pretty much November through March). The rec center is $70 for 20 visits, which lasts me about 2 months during the cold months, with no money down, and they have spin classes too. I did get a free 24 day trial so I'm going to take advantage of that, but I don't think I'll be joining after that unless they can lower the price.

I'm on a roll!

Since I recovered from The March Sickness (which was preceded by The February Sore Ankle, The January Sickness, The December Sickness, The November Swine Flu Recovery, and The October Swine Flu), I've had a few good workouts. The March Sickness was the shortest yet, possibly due to my obsessive drinking of Emergen'C.

Last Wednesday was a difficult crossfit, Thursday was crossfit as well, and Friday I couldn't walk. Saturday I was still sore but could walk, and managed a 10k run! Sunday was an awful 5k run. Today I did a decent 6.7 K at the park with Cookie. It was a GORGEOUS spring day, and Cookie looked like the happiest dog on earth. :) My weight is down a bit too so that's awesome.

Gear Review:

It's become clear that I really need to bring water with me if Cookie is with me and we're doing more than 3 miles. I got a Nathan hydration belt (in black so the husband can use it too). BTW, hydration belt is just a fancy name for a fanny pack that holds a water bottle. Not exactly the height of "cool", but it's necessary.

Pros: It was nice to have water available (Cookie really needed it). It's probably about as comfortable as it could be and I like the design of this one better than the ones that have two water bottles. The material kept the water cold and didn't make me hot. The little pocket was convenient for my car key and Cookie's poop bags. Since I have her leash in one hand, I really need my other hand free so a hand-held water bottle wouldn't work so well.

Cons: Carrying water is annoying. Water is heavy, the extra weight sucks, and having a belt around your waist is not so comfortable when running. I'd definitely prefer to run without it, but I know Cookie needs the water and it was nice for me as well.

Not sure what's on the agenda for tomorrow.... maybe my first ever spin class. Eek!

Junk Food I Turned Down Today

Today was a sugarfest at work! I have to confess I did have one smallllll moment of weakness and grabbed like 1/4 of a brownie at 8am, but after that I was done with the sweets. Here are some of the things I turned down in my dieting efforts:

-Bunch of crap that was in the lounge all day, I don't even remember it all. Bagels and muffins and stuff like that. I grabbed a few strawberries for later and munched on those when the kids were eating sugar.
-Brownies for a student's birthday
-Cookies for another student's birthday
-Cupcakes because my class won the box top contest
-Green powdered sugar donuts
-Mini cupcakes
-Apples dipped in caramel and green slime sauce

It's a start. I still struggle with food. I've figured out the exercise thing and love it, but I still need to turn that corner with food.

What's worse than 90 lunges?

90 lunges while holding two 15 pound weights, that's what.

Today's workout was a good one! It's another one you can do at home, and all you need is a set of hand-held weights.

10 lunges with hand weights
10 shoulder presses with hand weights
10 good mornings

Repeat those exercises 5 times.
Run 5 laps.
Then repeat the exercises 3 times
Run 3 laps.
Then do the exercises 1 time
Run 1 lap.

FYI, the 15 lb weights were hard, but it seemed like the right weight. If you're just starting out, I'd probably try 5 pound weights. If you don't have room for the running, you could do burpees (21 instead of 5 laps, 15 instead of 3 laps, and 9 instead of 1 lap). I think any cardio would work though, like jump rope.

Too sick to run...

...but not too sick to make cupcakes! I started feeling icky with a sore throat on Saturday and it just got worse from there, but I'm feeling a bit better this afternoon and wanted to fulfill my promise to make cupcakes for the baby shower at work tomorrow.

My favorite kind of cake is chocolate, and since I'm making the cupcakes, they are chocolate. My dad made a killer chocolate cake, and we all loved it so much that he would make it even if it wasn't anyone's birthday and we would just pretend it was one of our birthdays. It was awesome. I liked mine with chocolate frosting between the layers and on the outside, and toasted walnuts on the top. My sister preferred raspberry jam in the center and chocolate frosting on the outside. Either way, the cake always turned out perfect.

Since I haven't had the chance to grab the chocolate cookbook from my parent's house, I made Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake. I know from experience that this recipe needs to be adjusted for high altitude. I put in slightly less baking powder and baking soda and added 2ish tablespoons of extra flour and 2 tablespoons of extra milk.

The first group to go in the oven rose perfectly and look great, but they took less time to cook than expected. The cake should cook for 30-35 minutes, and cupcakes 22-25 minutes, but mine took more like 18 minutes. They definitely were not undercooked.... if anything I'm worried that the first batch is a tiny bit overcooked. The second batch spread a bit too much. I don't know why the first batch was perfect and the second batch spread too much since it was the same batter. There is an easy solution to this, which is to buy another muffin pan so I can cook them all at once. Anyway, I ate one of the reject cupcakes and it was DELICIOUS.

I made this delicious buttercream. It's SO easy! You just turn on the kitchenaid, add butter, milk, and vanilla, then add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time (I used 4 cups total). There is no reason for icky canned frosting when frosting is this easy to make. As far as vanilla goes, I saw a vanilla bean paste at Cake Crafts. It actually smells and tastes like actual vanilla, and I love that you can see the little vanilla beans. Next time I'll use 2 teaspoons of it instead of 1.

To make them look pretty, I got some sanding sugar and cute little gum paste flowers. You can't really see the sparkly sugar in my pic because I took it with my cell phone. One of these days I'll use an actual digital camera so you can see the details better, but I can never remember where I put it. I'm a dork like that.

Here they are! They're so cute and really tasty!

Dear Eccentric Rec Center People:

Since there isn't much on tv tonight and I'm not really in a reading mood, I decided to compose some letters to some of my favorite eccentric rec center folks. I've been going there so often that unfortunately I've become one of those insufferably obnoxious workout snobs. So here's my vent for the evening, after which I will cease to complain about the rec center for at least a few days.

Dear Sweaty Running Girl,
You might think I am going to complain about your excessive perspiration. After all, you do drip and fling sweat all over the place, your treadmill is covered in huge drops of sweat, and some people are probably more than a little grossed out. But actually, I have a huge runner's crush on you. I can only hope to someday be able to run as fast and long as you, and I'd kill for those legs. Sweat away; you are bad ass! But don't be offended if I won't be on the treadmill next to you.

Dear Hot Pants Chick,
Did your mother ever tell you that you should leave something to the imagination? I know it sucks when your mom is right, but this is one of those times. I don't care to see your butt cheeks and everything else that happens to be showing on account of you confusing underwear for workout shorts. Who exactly are you trying to impress, anyway? The 60 year old guy next to me? The 80 year old guy next to him? The soccer mom down at the end? I understand it's hot in the cardio room, but FFS cover your hoohaa a bit better!

Dear Perfume Girl,
Rule #1 of the gym: do not bathe yourself in perfume before hitting the gym on a Saturday morning. That is just plain RUDE. Breathing at mile 5 is hard enough for me without a nose full of perfume. And FYI, while I don't really care because it doesn't affect me, an inch of makeup is also unnecessary at the gym. You might want to wait until after the workout to look fancy.

Dear Loud Annoying Couple,
I was all ready to complain about your dumb jokes and cheesy attempts at flirting, but I changed my mind. You two are at the rec center quite often and are improving a lot. Talk and flirt away, you're doing great! Most people have given up on their new years resolutions by now but you guys are going strong.

Dear Ladies Wearing Sweat Suits:
Honestly, I don't get it. I promise you, there is not going to be a blizzard inside the cardio room. In fact, it's downright hot in there, and cardio makes you even hotter. I'm sweating like crazy in a tank top with two fans pointed at me, and I just can't understand why anyone would need long thick sweatpants, a turtleneck, and a thick sweatshirt. I would die a scorching, feverish death if I ran in those outfits. Now don't go borrowing Hot Pants Girl's shorts or anything, either. Moderation, people!

Dear People Running at 7.5 MPH and higher:
I. Am. Jealous. If it seems that I'm glaring at you, I don't mean to be rude. I'm just really, really jealous. I want to be you when I grow up.


That's me in 7th place! It's a good thing I'm so competitive because this little contest is really motivating me to work hard to stay in the top 10. I was down in 11th before today's run.

10K: Accomplished!


I ran 10K on Friday!!!!!!! YAY! I did take a couple very short breaks... one to turn the channel on the tv at the rec center, and the other because I accidentally pushed the "stop" button on the treadmill, but not my usual 2 minute breaks. Yes it took me 6 months total to get from 5k to 10k, but a lot of that time I was out with illness and whatnot. I really started working toward it at the end of December so I'd say it took 2 1/2 months of actively working toward it to get there.

I took Saturday off, and did 7k outside on Sunday. The wind was a bit cold and uncomfortable, and the hills are a change from being on the treadmill. I took quite a few breaks to walk up hills. Hills aside, I love running outside with Cookie! I need to go to a real trail or park though because running trails in my neighborhood are rather limited. I end up running around a condo complex a few times then running around the park in my neighborhood a few times which is rather boring.


Since this is turning into a Lululemon gushing blog, I'm going to start having two sections: one for workout updates and one for workout gear reviews. Here's what I've tried in the last couple weeks:Satin Pirouette Headband: Unfortunately, this was a big FAIL. My head is weirdly shaped or something, and headbands don't stay on. I heard that this one might, but I left the tag on just in case. It didn't work, so it's going back. It was very expensive too at $14. I did like the tight fit (it stretched some but not too much) and that it was adjustable. If you don't have a weird head shape like I do, you would probably love it.... but still, $14 is a lot for a headband.

I Just Wanna Run Tech SL Tank: LOVE!!!! Finally someone has made a very lightweight, moisture-wicking running tank for girls who don't want to wear a tight-fitting top. In general I think running gear is made for ladies who are in great shape, which makes sense, but I have chub in the tummy area and am not a fan of tight tanks. Now that the weather is warming up, I really needed a lightweight tank for outside runs. This tank is ridiculously flattering (thank you, ruching!). I ordered it online in lagoon, but then I got an email saying my order was canceled because they were sold out. I called the store and fortunately they had it. I loved it so much that I called back and had them put some in other colors on hold for me, and I plan on getting one more. I got it in a size 12, which is perfect. It is very long when pulled down (like a short tennis dress), but I cinched the drawstring a bit and pulled it up a bit and it was perfect. If you're much shorter than me (5'4 or 5'5) it might not work. I'd get it in every color if I could but it is not cheap.

Champion C9 moisture-wicking tech tank from Target: I keep hearing people say they like the C9 workout clothes from Target, so I thought this would be great for under $10. Unfortunately, I hate it. I wish I hadn't taken the tags off. It's SO unflattering. The cut is awful, it's too short, and it just clings very badly. I wish I liked it because the price is great, but I am not a fan. I'd rather have one I Just Wanna Run tank than 6 of these.

I also got some moisture-wicking socks from Costco, which I'll review after I wear them this week.

It is ON.

Here are the current stats from the Nestie Spring out of Winter Challenge. It's a bunch of girls from The Nest who have Nike+ competing to see who can run the most miles in 90 days. I'm #9, CookieLover.

KJesse and Ginifred, THE COMPETITION IS ON!

I want 8th place.

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