A Treadmill That Takes You Around the World in HD

I’ve logged plenty of treadmill miles while enduring Cleveland’s frigid winters and Arizona’s blazing hot summers.  Most treadmills are pretty boring, that’s why real runners–of which I am definitely not one–always say they prefer to run outside.  I get it, really I do.  I just find it too easy to quit if I’m running outside.

I recently came across this new treadmill that may just be the perfect solution for this travel-loving mama!  The LiveStrong LSPRO2 has Passport media technology.  It sounds really fancy and complicated, but once it is all hooked up, it is amazing and makes workouts fly by!  The Passport system connects to your TV, and it communicates wirelessly with the treadmill.   The treadmill delivers a high-definition experience designed to enhance the cardio workout of even the most serious runners.  All your stats pop up right on the TV screen.  Of course, you also have the option to use it like an old school treadmill, without the Passport media technology, and your information will show up right on the treadmill.

Livestrong LSPRO2

This is unlike any machine I’ve ever tried before in that the HD quality, real scenery and ambient sounds really make a world of difference (no generic scene views!).  The LiveStrong LSPRO2 comes with both the American Southwest and Northern Italy scenery, so you can hike the Grand Canyon and run through the rolling hills of Italy in the same day. More sceneries are available for purchase. So what’s it like to exercise on the LSPRO2?  It’s tough to describe, but imagine doing a killer workout in your own personal I-MAX theater.

Pretty cool, huh?  You really need to try it out for yourself, though, because–at $2,000– it’s a big investment.  A word of warning, not all big athletic stores carry this, so call around before you spend your whole day looking for one.

Not only are you doing something good for yourself when you buy this machine, but, with each purchase of the LSPRO2, money is donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support the 28 million people living with cancer today.  Awesome.

 Disclaimer: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


How to go from “Forty and Frumpy” to “Forty and Fabulous”!

Raise your hand if you have heard any of these?

“You know you’re not getting any younger.”

“Age is nothing but a number.”

“You are only as old as you feel.”

I don’t know about you, but all I seem to be able to hear is that teacher from the “Peanuts” cartoons when people start to utter these cliches.  Turning 40 can and should be a momentous occasion in a person’s life.  Some people embrace it, while others, such as myself, had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward that big ol’ number.  Many of you are juggling children, husbands, jobs, errands, finances, and at the end of the day, you feel like a wet dish rag rather than someone fresh off the set of “America’s Next Top Model”.  But taking your attitude from “feeling frumpy” and getting out of that housecoat and slippers to “feeling fabulous” and getting into that slinky little dress is easier than one might think.

By making a few tweaks to your daily routine, you will begin to see positive changes in the way you feel about yourself and, in turn, others will see the changes in you as well.  With an improved positive and healthy attitude, you will soon realize that getting older is not as bad as you think, and maybe the best is yet to come.  Here are some tips I would like to share that I have greatly benefited from over the past few years.

1.         “EXERCISE, EXERCISE and EXERCISE!!!” Now friends, this tip does not mean going up and down the stairs doing laundry.  NO!!!  I am talking real exercise.  We are in a world where we never have enough time, so if your idea of exercise is just walking around the cubicles at work on your lunch break then do it!   Find a half-hour in your day to do this for yourself.    I promise it will help with your physical and emotional well-being.

2.         TURN OFF THE TV AND GO TO BED!! Now I will admit that I am totally guilty of NOT doing this at times, but it is really important.  Trust me, as you get older, you want to wake up looking well-rested, rather than looking like you could pack for a vacation in those bags under your eyes!  Getting a full night of sleep not only helps with the way you look in the morning, but it improves your attitude 100% as well.    You do not want to end up taking a catnap at your desk while at work.    Get your zzzzzzzzzzzzzs.

3.         EAT YOUR VEGETABLES,  OR TAKE A MULTI-VITAMIN. How many times did we hear this one?   I will admit that I would much rather sit down to a pepperoni pizza than a bowl of salad, and I do not always eat as well as I should.  Taking a multi-vitamin is something that has helped me to feel better and has given me more energy.  Once I turned 40, I also turned to “One A Day Women’s” Multi-Vitamin, and it has really helped.

4          LAUGH.     This one is one of my favorites.  Laughing makes everything better in my world. Try to find some humor and laugh at least once a day.   If that means having to put on a funny movie, going to lunch with some friends, having someone hold you down and tickle you, or, if all else fails, head to the dentist for some laughing gas.  Do whatever it takes to get this done or the joke’s on you!

5. SPLURGE ONCE IN A WHILE.   Now this can apply to a lot of different things.  It can be anything from a new outfit you have been eyeing, to a new pair of shoes, to a book you’ve wanted to read, a scented candle, a bubble bath, or even your favorite bottle of wine.   Life is short and you need to take time to enjoy the things that make you happy.   Getting older is much more enjoyable and less torturous if there is a smile on that face of yours.

6.     DRESS IT UP!!!!! Most of the population comes home after a long day and immediately puts on their favorite pair of sweats and a t-shirt to start an exciting evening full of cooking and cleaning.  Once in a while, you need to take off the old comfy clothes and put on the little black dress.  Every once in a while, plan a night out on the town.  It can range from dinner with your significant other to drinks with friends or family.   Dress up and go have some fun.  You are guaranteed to feel better about yourself.   PLEASE REMEMBER IT IS NOT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, IT IS WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE INSIDE!!!  IF YOU FEEL FABULOUS THEN YOU ARE FABULOUS!!!

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Proof That it’s Never “too late” to Find Your Passion!

Now I am sure there are many of you out there right now who are all trying to figure out how to balance your busy lives.  We are always trying to juggle a variety of things, which can include any of the following: spouses, children, working, cooking, shopping, paying bills and keeping your house running in some kind of organized fashion, just to name a few.   We can all understand and relate to these issues and then you take me, a  40 plus-year old, divorced and now single mom of an 11-year-old-boy who is also working a full-time job.  As if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, I decided to throw training for a FULL marathon into the mix.   26.2 miles!!!! 

“Have I always been a runner?”  Well, that answer would be a profound NO!  Truth be told, I did not like running when I was young.  So who would think that after all these years I would be getting ready to run my first marathon in less than two months?  Correction…ATTEMPTING to run a marathon!

It started almost two years ago, when one of my friends approached me to see if I would like to run a 5K road race.  This would be a 3.1 mile race run through the streets of downtown Providence, Rhode Island.  She gave me a training schedule, and my first thought was “Where on earth will I find the time to do this?”  I was eventually able to run about three-miles without completely passing out,  but as the race date was starting to loom over me, I woke up one morning with the worst cold I have had in a very, very long time.  It took almost two weeks for it to run its course (no pun intended), and that brings us right to the day of the race.

“How am I ever going to do this when I have been sick and have NOT RUN AT ALL?”  This thought and a million more terrifying thoughts were going through my head the whole morning before the race.  My son, my parents and my boyfriend were all there for the big day, and all that kept going through my mind was,

“Will they need to call an ambulance for me?”Tight shot of runnings shoes Well, the gun went off, and so did I.  I did eventually cross that finish line and the feeling of accomplishment and pride was so overwhelming to me.  As I was just getting over that dreaded cold bug, I had officially caught another bug — the “running” bug.

So, now we jump ahead two years, and I have run in almost 26 road races, which include a number of 5 and 10Ks, along with two half-marathons.   I will be celebrating my two-year anniversary participating in the exact same Cox Road Race in which I had started.  The only difference this time is instead of it being a 3.1 mile race; it will be a 26.2 MILE RACE!!!

Looking back now, making that decision to start running was one of the best things I have ever done for myself!   Considering how crazy life is, I was able to find something just for me which,  in turn,  has made me a happier and healthier person.   If each of you can find that “something” just for you, the rewards for yourself are incredible and so worthwhile.   This is something that may not happen overnight and like me, it could take 40 plus years to find, but once you do… enjoy it!  For all of the things we do for everyone else, we all deserve to do something just for us!!!

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Why Runners Get Hooked

People are always amazed at how much I love to run. But it didn’t start as a love affair….it started more as a silly boyfriend you date solely because he has amazing eyes. There was only one thing I loved about running in college, and that was that it gave me a maximum workout in minimal time. Sometimes, I hated every step. I don’t remember any run being over five or so miles, and most were more like three. I have to admit, though–that even early on, there had to be that post-run endorphin thing that I got, perhaps even subliminally, because nothing else is going to get you out in the freezing sleet and snow in rural Ohio, even if it is a “good workout.” Although I was athletic in high school, running was never a part of the game.

Typical Ohio day...

Typical Ohio day...

My running started to evolve a bit as I ventured out to Arizona for graduate school. Suddenly, I was mapping new routes.

Typical Arizona day

Typical Arizona day

I found some new friends to run with, and I entered a 10k. Shortly thereafter, I entered a half-marathon, and some duathlons (running and biking), and then, finally in 2000, my first marathon. I still wouldn’t say I loved running, I wasn’t even sure I liked it. But I am a creature of habit. I thrive on discipline and routines, believing that these things actually allow me to be more spontaneous. In my masochistic mind, working hard makes the playing more fun, and then being spontaneous seems like a deserved reward.

My first marathon was everything it shouldn’t have been. Any normal person would have thrown in the towel. To start with, it was an inaugural race. This is a bad idea because the race directors have had no time to figure out what “works”. I will tell you what didn’t work….the route. It was on a rural course where we sometimes saw no one for miles. People got lost. They ran out of water. Farmers were cutting alfalfa. I had an asthma attack due to said alfalfa. Then I got rocks in my shoes and re-tied them too tightly. Then I felt my feet bleeding. Then I threw up. Then I shuffled, hot, tired, sweaty, and yes, triumphant through the finish line….about a half-hour later than my projected time. And yet,  I wanted to do it again.

I now have 8 marathons, 6 or 7 half-marathons, 2 ultras (longer than 26.2), 6 triathlons, 3 duathlons, a dozen or so other distances and 3 or so bike races under my belt. Marathons are my fave….ultras are even better….and trail ultras? Don’t even get me started.

I still don’t always love it. There are days that 4:30 am is just too stinking early. The hills seem to have gotten bigger overnight, every step feels like small tree trunks have been attached to my ankles, and I look at walkers and think, “Hey, walking seems nice….I can carry coffee if I walk.” However, more often than not, even on the days I think I will have a bad run, about half way in I remember why I do it. I remember why it is important to work hard, because hard work reaps benefits. The benefits for me are those days when I simply cherish the sound and cadence of my steps, when I can focus on praying without distraction, when I get to catch up with a girlfriend and no one is asking me for a snack, when I get to solve the oil crisis and the rest of the day seems to unfold before me, limitless with its’ possibilities. At times I am in awe of the beauty of the landscape before me, of the sun rising in the desert as I am alone on the trail, seemingly alone in the world; of the wind whipping my ponytail and the feeling of accomplishment I get when I put in 12 or 13 miles and most people have yet to rise. And don’t get me started on the endorphins. They are my Zoloft and my Prozac and my drug of choice….these indescribable little feelings that leave me smiling and content, even if I am spent.

So I would venture to say that this love affair has been a long time coming. But now, it is more like the boyfriend you love because he is good for you. He makes you feel better, he may not be perfect every day, but he will never turn on you. You love him for everything he does for you, not just one thing. He may not be easy to catch, but not much that is, is worth the chase.

How about you?  Are you an avid runner…or maybe you’re just getting started and you’re having trouble staying motivated.  I’d love to hear how you got started, your favorite race,  or any questions you might have.  Leave me a comment below!

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