Tested Tough Columbia Clothing

When I was a kid/youth growing up I had many items made by Columbia: jackets, ski pants and their head to toe old fashion yellow rain suit. I used that all the time as an outdoor ed instructor until it felt apart beyond repair. I loved their stuff so I was really excited to test out some new clothing recently.

Last month I was approached by Columbia Canada to review some clothing and participate in Mud Hero Halifax, however the timing wasn’t right and I couldn’t do the event. I’ve done Mud Hero a few years back and had a blast so was disappointed when I couldn’t participate. Even though I couldn’t do it, they still provided some clothing for me to review!

Columbia Tested Tough

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Shimmering Light Racerback Tank (Blue/Green)

I put this tank on right away and loved how soft the fabric felt. Even my girls thought it was “so soft” too. It’s really comfortable and I enjoy wearing during yoga or hiking…actually, just around the house a lot too. It’s perfect for our hot summer days we are having lately.

Facts: It’s 94% polyester / 6% elastane jacquard, Inner Bra: 86% polyester, 14% elastane,
Outer Bra: 94% polyester, 6% elastane. It has OMNI-WICK® High-Performance Wicking Fabric {Moisture-wicking fabric moves perspiration away from the skin to dry quickly on the surface}, 4-way comfort stretch and is an active fit.

hiking with the girls tested tough

Shimmering Light Tank (Pink)

This by far is my favourite item. I’ve worn it to work, on the weekends and out walking. It’s super light and comfortable. I love that I can wear it with a skirt for work or shorts on the weekend. The open back is my favourite and I like that the opening is big enough but doesn’t show my bra. I may have worn this shirt once a week (okay twice sometimes) since I got it. I seriously love it.

Facts: It’s 94% polyester / 6% elastane jacquard; has OMNI-WICK® High-Performance Wicking Fabric {Moisture-wicking fabric moves perspiration away from the skin to dry quickly on the surface}, 4-way comfort stretch and is an active fit.

pink tank dress up down

Women’s Titan Peak Short

These shorts did not disappoint. Before kids we used to go paddling and camping a lot…something we are trying (albeit slowly)…or wanting to get back into. These shorts would be perfect for both. Again, I’ve worn them to work, walking,while coaching soccer, hiking and just every day. These have been another staple this summer, are super light, great for traveling in the car to PEI last week and dried quickly when I got them wet. The pockets stood out with the bright coloured zip and the belt was a bonus.

Facts: “This lightweight and technical performance Titanium short is crafted of 4-way comfort stretch fabric with built in Omni-Shield™ advanced repellency and Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 sun protection. Designed with the serious thru-hiker in mind, the flattering Titan Peak will become your go-to short this summer”.

green tank and shorts

Vent N Vent Slip {Shoe}

These poor shoes! I originally requested a size 8.5 since that’s what I’ve been wearing in shoes lately but they didn’t fit. I had to send them back for a size 8 which was no problem for Columbia (thank you) but there was another mix up and they sent size 8.5 again. We got it all sorted and I’m glad we did as they are really comfortable shoes not to mention lightweight and cute. I don’t own anything like them so I figured why not give them a try. I like how simple they look but fun at the same time. They are really easy to slip on and kept me comfortable all day. I’m a big fan of blue but this is my first pair of “blue shoes” and that I can wear them to work, at home or out and about.

Facts: “Classic slip-on styling and aptly placed midsole vents turn this casual, comfy low top into a warm-weather style statement. The women’s Vulc N Vent Slip-On Shoe features a soft, washed-canvas upper, a vented midsole and sockliner to keep fresh air flowing underfoot, and a soft, full-length EVA-foam foot-bed for cushy, all-day comfort”. Weight: 6.8oz or 200g.

Shoes Tested Tough

Lots of great stuff from Columbia that I’m looking forward to wearing this summer in pretty much any atmosphere. Thank you Columbia Canada for providing the clothing and shoes, all opinions are my own.

For more awesome Columbia items, check out their website here: Columbia Canada.

Do you wear have go to clothing in the summer heat?

Can you wear “workout” clothing to work occasionally, all the time or never?

Do you pair your workout clothing with work day clothing at all like me?

 

Let’s Get Physiclo, Physiclo!

Recently I was approached by Physiclo to test out a pair of their running pants. I was able to choose between full pants or capris and I figured with the upcoming spring/summer temps, capris would be best.

What is Physiclo?

“These one-of-a-kind compression capris feature built-in resistance technology to make your workouts more productive than ever. Whether you’re running, cycling, or squatting, amplify your normal routine with a pair of Physiclo resistance capris and prepare to feel the burn. These functional workout capris are sleek, breathable, and designed to make you work harder with every step. The inner elastic layers act like resistance bands around your legs, helping you get stronger, fitter, faster” ~Physiclo

april 20th run

My Thoughts

When they arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find a shirt in the box with the size Large capris, which I wore on my first run. These pants are no joke! I found them challenging to put on but managed okay. The resistance bands on on the inside so you don’t see them but you can feel them. First, they felt odd but once I got running I almost didn’t notice the resistance bands.

To be completely honest, I was running super-fast with these capris on…even uphills. It was the fasted km’s I had run in a long time. What it the pants? Or was it me? Well, after a conversation with Frank (Co-founder)– it wasn’t the pants, it was me. They are supposed to make running harder not easier.

I also wasn’t too sure about the waist band and felt like they would fall down while I was running (remember, I had received a size large). If I bent over, they kind of rolled down so I’d have to pull them up again. I also found they had too much material for me in the front and would bunch. I had a conversation with Frank and he felt that I really should have gone with a size medium and sent that size off to me. Time to compare!

 

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The medium pants arrived (with another t-shirt) and I gave the pants a go for a second time. Now, this time the capris were REALLY hard to get on. {Picture putting on your pants with no hands – that’s how I felt}. I don’t have slim legs and have what I could call a plump butt, so I really wasn’t sure I was even going to get these things on my legs.

The key to these pants is to remember they are compression pants AND have resistance bands in them at the hip/thigh area. I felt like I was doing a dance to get these pants on…lunges…squats even. It sure was entertaining but I got them on and they fit way better, no bunching and didn’t feel like they would fall down. But, I did.

This run was harder than the first run I did. My mind and body just wanted to go but physically, I just couldn’t go any faster. The resistance bands did exactly what they were supposed to do. After my run, I felt great but the next day my legs felt more tired/sore than normal. I also found the waist-band on the medium pants “just not enough”.

I had a few more conversations with Frank and said that the waist-band seemed to short or thin. Almost not high enough on the waist. He said they had similar feedback and thought about putting more material there and a zipper on the side. I figure any company that is willing to take feedback (consistently) and make improvements is dedicating to making a solid product.

Overall, I liked these capris. They are pricey at $95-$125 US but if you are serious about using tools/equipment to improve your running, fitness etc., these would be a good addition. Will I wear them again? Yes, but not on all my runs. For me, I think I will like them best on shorter runs between 5 – 8k and will more than likely use them weekly.

Pro’s:

  • Comfortable while running
  • Provide resistance to your runs
  • Solid material (durable)
  • A company willing to work with you.

Con’s:

  • Hard to get on.
  • Sizing was a little tricky to figure out (but I find that is the case with many online shopping sizing).

For more information check out Physiclo here Please note: these are strictly my opinions and thoughts. Thank you Physiclo for providing the capris product to review.

Would you give these a try?

Do you use compression pants/capris/shorts when you run/workout?

 

April Mileage and May Adventures

As each month passes this year, I am blown away at how fast it is happening. It might have something to do with two little girls that are growing like weeds and also up to lots of adventure, who knows! Well, it’s now May and I have a race coming up! Before I get to that, here is how April went.

April, Twenty Six-teen.

My goals for April were to enjoy half marathon training and get better sleep.

Well, I’m definitely enjoying my half marathon training and now into week 6. I ran 93 km this month, went to 3 yoga classes and did 4 IronStrength workouts.

I’ve started to grasp running 400’s on the treadmill and am still sorting out tempo runs but feeling like I’m on the right track. I’ve struggled a lot with my SI joint but that seems to be getting back on track with all the foam rolling I’m doing. I didn’t once make it to GoodLife Fitness Gym but it’s also located in Halifax and I am not. Maybe next month as I do enjoy hitting up the gym.

April Mileage

As for the sleep, I’d give myself a B- as I started off the month really good and then sort of started to fail. It’s really hard to get everything done (work all day, stuff with girls, dinner, dishes, laundry, running/workouts, shower, dog stuff, husband working) before 10 PM which is my goal for getting to bed early.

Since Friday’s are my official “rest days” from running, I’m usually in bed at 9 PM just to catch up on sleep. Yes, I lead a crazy Friday night! I’m not going to lose sleep over it (haha!) but I’m aiming to be in bed by 10 PM each night.

May Happenings:

  • Training for Johnny Miles Half.
  • Try to hit up GoodLife Fitness when I’m in the city.
  • Running 10k at the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax.
  • Both girls are running the 2k Youth Run at Bluenose 🙂
  • Outdoor adventures: biking, hiking and maybe evening dipping toes in some water.
  • Blog more than once a week!

I’m hoping May is a month spent mostly outdoors (when not at work or sleeping), good runs/workouts, time with family and friends and enjoying life. Pretty simple really.

How was your month of April?

Any big plans for May? 

What are you most looking forward to this month? Me, warmer weather.

I Heart Exercise

Well, it’s no surprise to you that I enjoy working out. If you’ve been around the blog a while you’ll know that I love to run, play soccer (when not injured), ski, snowshoe and be active with my kids outside year round.

I’ve grown up play sports since I was old enough to figure it out; skiing at three, soccer at 5 and then multiple sports as a teenager (volleyball, badminton, soccer etc.). We grew up playing “capture the flag” in our neighbourhood, riding our bikes to our soccer games or friends houses.

I guess I’ve always loved to be active. If my Mom was writing this post she would tell you about the time when I was a little one (under 3) and had my “exercise” gear on. Picture the 80’s outfits; head band, pony tail, leotard, body suit and socks that strunched down to my ankles. Oh yes, that was me. I would wait for my “exercise” program to come on the TV during lunch hour. One more, two more…I would repeat over and over again!!! Apparently I loved it!

February is Heart Month and GoodLife Fitness has a “Heart Health Challenge” going on!

You can join the challenge here.

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Daily challenges will be provided. Let’s be honest…who doesn’t need a little help with motivation this winter, I know I do!

Along with the daily challenges there will be exercise tips and recipe ideas. They are also providing suggestions for reducing stress and getting better sleep. For me this is a big one! I know I don’t get enough sleep, especially this week with a sick kid and working full time while my husband is away working. It’s life but it’s stressful so any tips I can get would be great!

Did you know…“Canadian Physical Activity guideline recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Statistics Canada reports that only about 15% of Canadian adults meet the current guidelines. This tends to be higher in males (17%) than females (13%), and younger adults aged 18 to 39 years (19%) compared to older adults 60 to 79 years (11%). Cardio and strength training both have great benefits for your heart. Your heart needs more than just cardio exercise to stay healthy and strong.”

GoodLife Fitness will have an open house February 15th – 19th where you can learn more about heart health! Open house, yes please!!! GoodLife Fitness has partner with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre for this challenge.

Though exercise is extremely important to me, so is hearth health. My Dad had a heart attack last year and for someone turning 70 this March, he is an extremely active senior. So heart health is important to me because it hits close to home. My Dad continues to ski, snow shoe, walk and referee soccer in the summer months. He takes care of is heart health and so should we all!

Take care of yourself this month and join us in the I Heart Exercise Challenge!

Don’t forget to use the #iHeartExercise for the month of February!

What’s your number one form of exercise?

When was the last time you thought about your heart health?

Crow Pose & 21 Day Fix Workouts

For the last three-four weeks I’ve been taking it easy on the running front. One week was to recover from my half marathon and leg my hamstring heal again! The other 2-3 weeks were just balancing different workouts. It’s not that I don’t want to run {I do} it’s just that I’ve been enjoying doing other things. With intentions of getting my hamstring stronger again {since my half marathon} I’ve been doing more yoga and some strength training workouts.

One of my goals this year was to doe more yoga and then be able to hold the “crow” pose and I finally feel like I’ve achieved that goal! A few months ago, I went to a yoga class and the instructor gave me 1 tip that changed it all and allowed me to hold the pose more than a few seconds!

This past week in my yoga class, I got into crow pose and held it the longest to date without falling on my face {yeah, that still happens occasionally} or putting my toe down for balance. This class was different. There were 8 of us in a small space and of my two co-workers went as well. We’ve kinda made a workout pack but I’ll get more to that in a minute.

While in crow pose the instructor said for me to try and jump back into chaturanga. My first thought was…what is “chaturanga” but then I quickly clued into what that was as we do it all the time. My brain was so focused on not face planting that it took a few seconds to realise what she was telling me to do.

And then I just did it! I’m pretty sure I said “Oh” out loud as if I had a light bulb moment when I managed to go from crow pose to chaturanga. That was awesome! The instructor then spoke about “fear” and how sometimes that can hold us back. I 100% had the fear of face planting and once I was able to overcome that fear, I was able to jump back into chaturanga!

Workout Pack

Ever workout in a group of people? I’ve got my running buddy and from time-to-time when my schedule permits I run with running clubs. Runners – you all know how awesome the running community is. Well, it’s just great to run or workout with others. It can be motivating, encouraging, inspiring and can just get you off your butt when you don’t want to.

My co-worker a week ago decided we (three of us) needed to do the 21 day fix workouts with her! I’m all about getting stronger so I can run better and not become so injured again…so I was in. Plus, I do enjoy working out with others….a workout pack if you must.

Last Friday we started with “total body cardio fix” which really meant nothing to me until I was in the workout. It was hard but I didn’t know how hard it was until the next day when I couldn’t walk, sit down or go up/down stairs. For REAL! I was struggling! THAT struggle was nasty!

I go through Saturday {just} and then managed a quick 6k outside to shake out my legs. This WAS NOT pretty but just necessary for normal function of my body. Mainly to not hurt so much. I even hurt a bit on Monday when we did the “dirty 30” workout. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

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Tuesday we hit up yoga {crow pose success} and then Wednesday was supposed to be “lower body” but that dvd didn’t work. So we resorted to “cardio fix” which is different from “total body cardio fix”. Basically, the only difference is you have no weights. It was by far, not easier than the other one.

Now, there is a LOT of laughter happening during these workouts with my two co-workers. And to be honest, there is a little swearing and bad-mouthing the video because we are struggling along and just waiting for those 20 seconds, really 15 seconds to recover in between sets.

After each workout we make a plan for the next day and today is actually a rest day for me because I have four meetings back to back. I’m hoping to run in the evening but I might just sleep 😉

Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on running. In fact my running buddy and I have decided to do a half together next spring/summer. AND……..it might just be a Mommy’s weekend away (Saï and Casey take warning). I’m also toying with a few winter races and will start training for them soon but I’m not committing to them until I know what the weather will be. I’ll write more about that another time.

Oh, and I’m not doing the whole shakeology stuff – just the workouts and enjoying eating all my girls Halloween candy. The combination is completely wrong…….and I’m good with that!

What workouts are you up to these days?

How much Halloween candy have you eaten? (I’m officially sick of it now)

Do you workout with a group of people or solo only?

October’s Over and Workout Recap

I feel like this year is just going way to fast. October is now behind us and I vaguely remember my half marathon because Halloween and day light’s saving time have messed with us. “One extra hour of sleep” – ha ha, yeah right! I’m also ready to throw out all the candy/chips because I keep sneaking some for myself when the girls aren’t looking.

October brought me 101 kilometres of running!!!!!!

october km 2015

Last weeks workouts were a killer……

Since I’m not following a training plan anymore, I feel free to run/workout when ever and that’s kinda nice. Honestly, I can’t remember what I did when so I have to rely on my handy-dandy (oh yes) running log book. It’s not fancy, far from that. It’s a simple book that I write the month in and then list the date/distance/time/total km or workouts and then any other comments. I’ve thought about getting a fancy book but I’m almost 2 years into filling this one up so I’m sticking with it.

  • Sunday – A quick 5k on the trail, stop at the store for an onion and then ran the last km home!
  • Monday – 5k treadmill run.
  • Tuesday – Vinyasa Yoga – felt so good!
  • Wednesday – Rest Day
  • Thursday – 5k treadmill run
  • Friday – 21 Day Fix – Total Cardio Fix (good lord this killed me)
  • Saturday – Nothing as I couldn’t handle the massive amounts of pain I was suffering from the Total Cardio Fix
  • Sunday – 6 trail run in the rain – a little rough shaking out some pain from Friday’s workout.

Trail Run Nov 1st

Halloween Fun

Else, Olaf and Anna!

halloween 2015

November Adventures:

I’m doing the 30 Day Plank Challenge, it’s one of my favourites and to be honest…THE only 30 day challenge I’ve completed to date!

I’ve signed up for the #HolidaySweat Challenge {Nov 8th – Jan 2nd}. You can check it out here. 

I’m attempting to remember to add #chasethebird from Nov 1st – 26th to photos on IG/Twitter and FB. It’s about getting people to do at least 15 minutes of activity EVERY – DAY! You can check it out here.

We’re full swing into swimming lessons for Lilly and indoor soccer for both girls. Sadly, I’m not playing indoor soccer – that’s a tough one to swallow BUT I have to be realistic about my hamstring and sprinting/speed work is out of the question.

I’m actually {I can’t believe I’m going to write this down}… I’m actually looking forward to *some* snow falling later this month!!!! I can’t believe I just said that…shit’s going to hit the fan this winter now! Oh now wait, that hit us Maritimers last winter…we should be getting it easy this year. Yeah, right!

Welcome November!!!!!!!!

How was your October / weekend?

Have you tried any of the 21 day fix workouts? 

Any plans this November?

A few favourite 30 Day Challenges {Workouts}

I’ve tried so many 30 day challenges and failed at 99% of them, seriously! Oh, and I’m extremely fine with not completing the challenge but more happy that I started them and got as far as I did. I thought I’d share a few of my favourites since it’s NOVEMBER 1st !!!! When did that happen!

Plank Challenge (Loved this one)

plank 30 Day challenge

This is the one challenge I’m doing this month, only because I love it and I want to see if I can continue after the 3 minute plans. Time will tell.

Cardio Challenge

Jodi Higgs 30 Day Cardio Challenge

Sun Salutation Challenge (I liked this one)

30 Day Sun Salutation Challenge

Posture Challenge

30 Day Posture Challenge Jodi Higgs

Are you go at sticking to 30 day challenges?

What’s your favourite challenge you’ve participated in?

What’s the worst one you’ve done?

Please note – I did not create any of these challenges but either found them on Pinterest and tired them myself. I’m not a fitness instructor or Doctor. You should check with your Doctor, fitness instructor or fitness professional when starting these activities.