20th April 2012 | Megan
Personally, I have known about WIN Detergent for awhile. Doesn’t mean I had used it, rather, just knew of others that did. I never felt I needed it. With a very athletic family, we do loads and loads of laundry each week, and it seemed to me that “regular” detergent was fine.
It was in a run with Christa, that I learned from a convert. She was a WIN addict. Glowingly, she spoke of her “WIN conservation” when the bottle had become hard to come find. WIN had been a popular sports detergent brand several years ago, then slowly it started to disappear from the shelves and online; the company decided to stop producing it.
To the rescue, another WIN addict, Lee Silverman of Jack Rabbit Sports in New York City. Lee sold WIN at his stores and loved the product. When WIN stopped arriving at his stores, Lee took action and bought the company. He knew WIN worked, not only against standard detergents but against others in the sports category. Jack Rabbit Sports sells technical sport clothing and with that comes technical sports smell, Lee knew WIN took care of stink. When something is so convincing, you gotta run with it. Literally.
I met Lee several months ago, his passion for WIN was convincing. I know the feeling, when something feels so right, you move mountains for it. I left with his enthusiasm and my own bottle of WIN and went to work doing laundry. I have never been particular about detergent or loved laundry, so would I notice a difference? You bet! But maybe I was being swayed by Lee’s love and Christa’s enthusiasm, so I decided to hold the Run Like A Mother WIN Wash test.
5 very athletic moms with 15 very athletic kids. Loads of laundry later and (drum roll please) some very happy, wonderful smelling and clean families. Here is the low-down.
Christa had used WIN before-
- She felt other detergents didn’t rinse out as well
- Liked that it worked with HE washers
- Felt that the fabric were softer and harsh odors were GONE.
Morgan had used another sports specific detergent-
- Felt the fresh scent was not too strong.
- The WIN smell was preferred by the whole family.
Kathie- Has kids who swim a LOT
- Felt the suits washed in WIN had no chlorine smell
- Felt that the clothes were softer
- Stated that WIN felt like really soap not thick like other Detergent
- Noticed that the scent was not fake smell
Noreen- had used WIN before it went away.
- Concerned about her son’s baseball gear.
- Wanted desperately for “old towel” smell to leave her old towels and WIN did it!
Finally, our tester with the biggest task…
Deb- is a Five Finger Vibram runner and has VERY stinky shoes
- WIN worked! Her shoes don’t smell and we are ALL so grateful!
- Felt WIN left no waxy feel, leaving clothes clean with no odor.
- Her husband asked to have his clothes that were washed in the regular detergent could be rewashed.
So , in conclusion, a very small sampling of some stinky, busy households that are certain to buy WIN again. If you are interested in purchasing WIN, visit your local running store. If they don’t have it…beg them to get it! You will notice the WIN difference.
14th April 2012 | Megan
Stephanie is participating in our Run Like a Mother Training Program, though anxious at first, she is out there training and building confidence! Read her story below, maybe there is a little of her in you…
I am NOT a runner. Never have been. I never played sports as a kid, I danced. Living in this town I feel like everyone I know runs, but I never thought I could EVER possibly be one of them. I finally lost some weight in the past couple of months (my third is turning 3 on Friday so the baby weight excuse was really over about 2 1/2 years ago). My friend Deb is an amazing runner, she’s run 10 marathons on top of being a personal trainer and working 3 jobs! I was with her last week when her beginning runners class came up.
I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I nervously broached the subject of me maybe being able to try it. She is always so positive and said that I could do it. I don’t think I believed her at all, but there was something inside of me that asked her if she’d be willing to take me on a practice training run so that I could see what it’s like. (I’ve also had back problems since my second pregnancy so it was also to see how my back would do.) Of course, Deb’s answer was, “Of course.” We met at the Rec Center on Monday and we walked for 9 minutes, ran for 1 and then walked for 4 and ran for 1 for a total of six 1 minute runs. I did it! And it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I’ve been working out on and off since January, doing a little walking at the gym and outside and the elliptical at the gym, but I am far from what I consider to be in shape and I still have 35 pounds to lose. But I did it! I ran 6 minutes! I know that might sound silly to a lot of people, but it was actually a big accomplishment for me and it felt great! We got in Deb’s car and she had me sign up for Run Like a Mother right there.
There is another reason that signing up for Run Like a Mother is such a huge deal for me. I lost my mom 16 years ago. Mother’s Day was pretty awful for quite a few years. Once I had my own kids it got a little better. Even though it felt like everyone I knew was doing it, I couldn’t even sign up to walk Run Like a Mother. It was too much for me. I mean it’s one thing to celebrate with my kids, but to actually go out and do something to mark the occasion? No way! It was especially hard to think about it knowing that lots of moms and daughters run the race together. Not something I wanted to see, let alone be a part of. Thanks to a lot of amazing therapy I’ve finally figured out that I don’t have to be my (overweight) mom or as perfect in every other way as I’ve made her out to be in my mind. And it only took me 16 years to get there! Anyway, I am so happy to finally be in a place where I can do this run to celebrate my amazing mom and do something really positive on Mother’s Day.
Today was our first group training run. I was really excited. I made a point this morning to tell the kids what I’m doing. I figure if they know this is a real challenge for me, that I’m nervous and that I working really hard, then I can’t quit! When I got to training I was happy to see so many familiar faces. Then I realized there were only about 6 of us in the novice group. A little embarrassing, but oh well, I am a novice, right? Deb asked me right before training if I would write this blog. Aghh! Now I really, really can’t quit. (And they also had to take a picture of me; I hate having my picture taken!) I asked her if she was only asking me so I’d stick with it! Today was walk for 4 minutes, run for 1 minute, but 8 times, not 6. I started out feeling really good. I walk pretty fast (I have long legs) so the walking seemed pretty easy to me. I was pretty good for the first couple runs, but when they told us we had completed 4 and were halfway there, I thought, hmm, really? Maybe they miscounted? The next two runs I was definitely feeling like my legs were made of lead, but I’m amazed by how fast a minute goes by. I definitely didn’t have as much energy walking at the end as I did at the beginning. The final run felt pretty good. I was done!
The support I got at the end from Deb coming to see how I did and offer to train with me on Friday so I don’t have to do it myself, from my friend Kathie who offered to do training runs with me, to Megan giving me advice on how to handle the hills (slow down on the hill to keep your heart rate the same, don’t push it up the hill the way a man would!) was amazing. I felt so good about myself. Now, I’m being totally honest here…I truly don’t see yet, how I’m going to run the whole thing…8 minutes divided by 4 minute walks wasn’t easy, but everyone assures me if I stick to the training plan I can. I’m a big negative self talker (there’s the therapy talking) so I’m having to make a really conscious effort to not do that to myself. I’m going to go on faith in these inspiring women and just tell myself that I can do it.
24th March 2012 | Megan
I recently raced in a bike race. As I lined up at the starting line, I looked around at the women that surrounded me. In their colorful racing kits, chatting amongst themselves; they varied from much younger to younger, from super fit to “happy to start together” and from confident to “happy to hang on”.
This was a criterion style bike style bike race, in which you compete typically in a pack (peloton), unless someone breaks away. We had to race 22 laps in roller derby fashion, jostling for position as the race progresses until the bell lap when there is a mad sprint for the finish. The race is very high energy and lasts only 45 minutes, but in that time your heart is racing and your mind has to be spot on.
I am often asked why do I do this race. Or any race for that matter. What is the point of competition? In a previous blog (http://www.runlikeamotherrace.com/out-of-the-box-experiences/) I wrote about being “Out of the Box”, putting yourself in a place of discomfort to grow mentally. Challenge is something that keeps us sharp, pulls us out what can be an easy, mundane existence. Challenge can be a personal, private, internal test or it can be shouted from the roof tops.
It can happen in the same event but have different meanings to different people. A running race is a great example. The first timer just wants the challenge of a finish, the veteran perhaps a Personal Best and the pro, to qualify for another event or milestone. There they are in the same race, doing the same thing with the same “quality” of a challenge; just a different outcome.
Competing is important on so many levels. I recently posted,
Racing makes you sharp.
Training builds your strength and endurance physically but most importantly mentally.
We do these things for our own bodies but also to be better for others. There are times when your ability to withstand events will hold those around you.
It’s our way of life
Athletic events provide the opportunity to prepare. Often times, people will look cross-eyed wondering “Why” you must TRAIN or RACE, what is it all for anyway? Competition and challenges keep you keen, refocus your efforts on you, which sometimes gets lost. The ultimate gift as you test yourself, is that you are preparing your mind and body to endure other life events. During the preparation phase, not only physical but mental stamina is gained. During the test phase or race, we learn even further the amount of stress we are able to carry mentally and physically.
Most of us have endured awful diagnosis’, divorces, sudden deaths of loved ones or other life events. We have friends and support of family to help us cope. Eventually though, we have to rely on ourselves, our own strength and toughness to guide us through the difficult time. Athletics helps to prepare us but additionally can carry us through when something bad happens.
Racing is not for everyone, but it does help your mind and body prepare for the times when the going gets tough. Putting yourself in a race situation, tests your mind and draws on your soul; no matter the distance or the pace as long as it puts you in out of the box where you are forced to deal with the uncomfortable. Put yourself in that situation now and you will most certainly draw on it later.
10th March 2012 | Megan
I have great friends that own Georgetown Auto Body, a business that has been part of the Run Like a Mother family for many years. The other day I went in to visit Pat and Kelly and was overwhelmed by how busy they were. Last year at this time in our tiny New England town, the shop was also crazy busy, but then it was understandable; our winter caused cars to slip and slide all over, into each other, off roads and down icy drives. This year, it has not been the case, we have had a summer like winter, no real ice or torrential weather to cause road conditions so I wondered WHY was Georgetown Auto Body so full of cars in need of repair?
It is always nice to see a business so busy though when it is an auto body shop it is concerning. I I asked Pat why his business was doing so well in such mild driving conditions. Pat smiled and lifted up his cell phone. What, did he post his number on a billboard? I didn’t understand. No, he smiled; this device is keeping the cars rolling in. Ah, texting, talking, multi-tasking is providing a windfall of business to auto body shops. And those cars and people are the ones living to tell about it.�
What does texting and auto body business have to do with running? Believe me, now more than ever, athletes need to be defensive in their training. Karate is not necessary to run but arming yourself with the right reactionary tools is crucial. Believe in ME! Making Eyes at drivers is the way to stay safe. That’s right, stare them down.
We have known to RUN AGAINST TRAFFIC if there is not a sidewalk available, but now we need to take it a step further to be safe against texters. Believe in ME. Make eye contact with the oncoming driver when being approached. Too often a driver is able to text and be in a relatively straight line but not calculate for you in the road. If the driver’s eyes don’t meet yours, be on guard. Make Eyes. Especially important to greet oncoming cars this way but also Make Eyes at intersections. There is no reason runners can’t safely take the roads but the responsibility has become much more the runner’s than the cars. Be defensive!
If it weren’t for my kids in the car who are terminally embarrassed of me, I would be preaching out my car window. “Run Against! Turn the iPod down! Make eyes!” when I see runners taking such risks.�
27th December 2011 | Megan
It has long been thought that 21 days makes a habit; meaning that it takes that number of days to create a change in your life. My older sister first told me this when we were making “New Year’s Resolutions” in junior high school. That was shortly after she had recorded the top 100 songs that kept us awake on New Year’s Eve.
My mother kept my New Year’s Resolutions from that year… it seems I had 16 resolutions. Likely I made it through the week before the list was stuffed under the bed. Here they are..
- run down and up street every week
- jump on pogo stick every day
- work better in school
- brush my teeth
- scrub my face!
- Clean my room . all of it
- Ride my bike
- Say please and thank you and all that junk
- Read books
- Pay attention to family
- Take Primo out (the dog)
- Feed Primo
- Play better in the piano
- Sew all year
- Stop eating so much
- Exercise every morning
OMG! I could have written those today! They all still apply, OK, perhaps not “the sew every day”, though my mother did give me a sewing machine several years ago. Sadly, it sits in my attic with a broken needle.
I am sure it would only take one professional to say that with that list I was setting myself up for failure. Although many were redundant exercise thoughts, the list was too long to be successful. Even at that age I was setting myself up for implosion…too many resolutions to follow, too many changes to be made.
We often hit the New Year full steam ahead. “I am going to lose 15 pounds and begin an exercise program”, all in one month and one breath! Day 7 comes and we are tired, stressed and in need of a “cheat”, opening the door to failure.
We are most successful if we set ONE goal. That’s right, one goal. So if you are inclined to do something that sticks, chose one thing and do it well, then after a month or 21 days of success, add another goal. Make them small and attainable, not big numbers or miles that will take months to reach. Set them small and attainable. Redundant yes, but successful too.
When I run a marathon, I break it down to smaller races, then check them off as they are done. This way, I am refreshed after each completion and the entirety of the event doesn’t seem so daunting. A New Year’s resolution may have the picture of the bikini clad model on the fridge but the goal should be in increments. AND, it should not be cutting calories and starting a fitness regimen in the same breath. ONE or the other.
So sit down this week and plan it out. If you are making drastic life changes, do them with caution. I know, the teeny bikini is a great goal, but you won’t get there tomorrow if you cut your calories and begin a fitness program that is too lofty. Again, (yes, I am beating a point in to you) pick ONE.
My triathlon coach, Eric Hodska (to learn more about him or follow his challenges, visit https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/279447542288/ or www.hodska.com) has his athletes begin the year with a big game changer, especially after the holidays. This is however, after he has given us the month of December with a strength regimen every day. He asks us to eat REAL, avoiding the whites such as flour, sugar and processed foods. Produce, protein and multigrain goods; basically the perimeter of the grocery store. No alcohol, no sweets, no nuts (too easy to grab too many handfuls) and limited dairy. I have done this for a few years and it is altering. Hard at first, it gets easier the further you are from the start date. This is always a great way to start off the year, but that is because I am already entrenched in a fitness program and not asking my mind and body to be shocked into change from both angles.
If you are starting this year with the fitness makeover and diet plan together, choose the fitness program before making huge changes to your diet. If you move your body, you will see change which could intrinsically alter your eating habits. With the thought that you need to fuel your body for the next workout, your dietary habits will gravitate toward the healthy. As you move your body you will keep the fire going, raising your metabolism, increasing muscle mass and therefore reducing body mass.
About a month ago, I blogged about thinking about your 2012 goals. I wanted you to get the ideas into your head all month so that January 1st is not so daunting and abrupt. Now we are several days away and it is time to write it out carefully; make a plan that is gradual and incremental. Take some time and think carefully, don’t wait until the Top 100 countdown is on to hastily write them down. If you do, the list might stay with you forever (such as my 7th grade list) but the goals will not be reached. Let’s choose one and give it 21 days before we add on. Seal one deal then introduce the next.
Baby steps, they aren’t always pretty but they lead to bigger and better things! Happy 2012!