Category Archives: Running

I Tried It: Mineral Salt Deodorant

Aren’t you glad I do these things?

Like try a deodorant and then tell you how it worked?

Or have you already run for the hills?

I promise I don’t smell that bad. I guess you’ll have to trust me on this one.

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So, my husband, who never shops for toiletries, decided earlier this year to order this $7-ish stick of deodorant because it was going to be SO MUCH cheaper than ALL the deodorant he uses.

Since anti-perspirant/deodorant magically appears in his bathroom drawer, I think he thought he was using a stick a month or something. I assure you, he does not.

But, he was right. It’s possible that this would be a whopping $8 or $9 cheaper. Per year. We’re going after the BIG savings people.

I told him if he wants to save that much, he could just buy one fewer 6-pack. Bada-bing, bada-boom! Savings! He doesn’t appreciate my humor as much as I appreciate my humor!

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Well, when he ordered this stick of deodorant, he still had deodorant to use up, so it sat in the drawer. Oh, the savings irony.

Then I ran out of deodorant.

So, I tried it.

As the label says, Crystal Body Deodorant Stick is a natural deodorant option made from alum, a mineral salt. The mineral salts form a barrier on the skin that creates an unfriendly environment for bacteria. The bacteria is what makes you smell when you sweat.

For me, I found it worked well on light-activity days. You know, when I wasn’t working out. If it was one of my running days and it was 90 degrees outside, forget about it. Regular anti-perspirant worked better for that.

The salt stick does have to be a little moist, otherwise it will tug on your skin a little when applying it. You can wet the stick with a little bit of water.

I decided 3 months was long enough for this little experiment. Despite all the pros of the mineral salt deodorant, I decided to go back to my old stand-by, Dry Idea. My full activity days outnumber by light activity days, so it made sense for me.

This is just my experience, so I have no idea how it works for other people. However, Crystal Deodorant does get 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, so it’s working great for a lot of folks and may be worth a try!

Aren’t you happy you read this whole post? And I even managed to do it without saying “armpit” once!

P.S. The Crystal deodorant people have no clue who I am. You can learn more about their products on their site though.

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My Favorites from 2014

I started blogging in March of 2014 and by the end of the year I had posted over 100 times. Holy cow! Who knew I was so wordy  had so much to share?

While I get back in the swing of the things after the holidays, I thought I’d share some of my favorite posts from the past year. You know, just in case you missed them. Ha!

These are not in any particular order and I’m feeling a little like I’ve been asked to pick my favorite child. It’s impossible!

Arrow-Shaped Growth Chart

I love this growth chart because we used scrap wood, so it was free, but also because of the symbolism. The ‘up’ arrow signifies that the child is growing up with each mark on the chart.

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Pottery Barn-Inspired Trundle Bed

Building our daughter a bed that has a classic style and provides room for her to have sleepovers has been a win in our book!
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Blueberry Freezer Jam with Frozen Berries

 

All of my freezer jam recipes have been popular with readers and with us. We eat jam everyday! This post was particularly helpful to folks because it answer the question of if you can make jam with frozen berries.blueberry4.jpg

How to Fix a Zero Gravity Chair

I was determined to not throwaway our zero gravity chairs just because the elastic cording had rotted. Fixing them was super easy. So, if you see one of these by the side of the road – grab it up and fix it yourself! Shazam!

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Dave’s Killer Bread Copycat Recipe

2014 was the year I started making bread and I can’t envision going back to store-bought bread.

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Using an Old Door to Display Running Medals and Race Bibs

I’m a sucker for old doors and this one makes me so happy. It’s become a way to celebrate my husband’s running accomplishments and is a unique piece of art as well.

Trophy or Medal Board Made From An Old Door

Trophy or Medal Board Made From An Old Door

Free Printable: Day-of-the-Week Lunch Box Notes

I printed and laminated some day-of-the-week lunch box notes to use any time my daughter has cold lunch. They wipe clean with a Magic Eraser. You can print them too!

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Alright, these posts made me pretty darn happy throughout out 2014 and I’m still enjoying them today! I’ll be back on Wednesday for our regularly scheduled programming!

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Bracing for Achilles Tendonitis

I should probably issue a disclaimer. This post is not going to be pretty or home-related. There are pictures of my feet. I’m so sorry. There is a happy ending though, so there’s that.

If you’ve ever read the “about me” page on this blog (it’s riveting), you’ll see I mentioned something about running, but not being a runner. I do it 3 days a week because it happens to be the most efficient and effective way for me to exercise and I do like how it makes me feel – after. The during part isn’t my most favorite part.

1336213716575_7036419Image Credit: Someecards.com

What came next really chapped my hide. Last year, there was a time when I swore my achilles tendon was on fire and was going to snap in two. That feeling was accompanied by on-going stiffness and aching. It rocked my foundation. There may have been some well-founded melodrama going on. I had finally found an exercise that worked and I completely despised, but now I was going to be deprived of it! The gall!

So after living with it for awhile and whining about it a lot, I saw the orthopedic doctor and he diagnosed achilles tendonitis. I think there is a more medically accurate term than that, but achilles tendonitis works for me. He prescribed physical therapy. So, off I went. It wasn’t my first time in physical therapy. I’ve been there twice for recovery from ACL reconstruction and once for patella tendonitis. I’m a real lucky duck.

And, yes, I actually did follow the rules. I did the exercises, applied ice, foam rolled and avoided running. I made great strides in improving my hip strength so that it would improve my running form. Except the pain was still there after 6 weeks, then 8. I even asked for those little electrodes to send the anti-inflammatory gel into my skin. It only brought temporary relief. By the time I had finished my stint in physical therapy I was 3 months into no running. Yet the pain was still there and I was getting desperate.

So I did what any logical person does. I Googled my problems and tried to find a cure myself. That’s when I stumbled on the Aircast Airheel Foot and Ankle Brace. I found mine on Amazon, but I’m sure you can get it elsewhere too. (P.S. I’m sorry you have to look at my foot.)

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I was skeptical, but the reviews trended toward the more favorable side. And remember, I was desperate, so it was worth a hail mary try. The first time I used it I was able to run a mile and a half before I started to feel any discomfort. I almost cried, I was so happy. And, yes, the irony of being happy to get back to something that I don’t enjoy doing is not lost on me.

I will say, it is weird wearing the brace at first. It feels very, very odd because you are walking on an air bubble. However, I think it might actually facilitate a more natural heel-toe foot placement.
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Right where my thumb is (see below) there is an air-pocket that goes under your arch. When you step down, your foot pushes the air from under your arch up to the air-pocket that surrounds your achilles tendon to give it support.

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The blue pad I’m pointing to in the below picture is the air-pocket that surrounds the achilles tendon. You can see there is a little tube that sends the air from one spot to another and back.
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The only downside to wearing the brace is that little tube. On my particular foot, I found that it rubbed my ankle in an uncomfortable way. I could put a piece of moleskin there to protect from the rubbing, but it was just as easy to wear a taller sock instead. This is one of my husband’s socks. Glamorous, I know! 😉 I’ve had my brace for a little over a year, so hopefully they’ve improved it since then.

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Right now, the Aircast Airheel Foot and Ankle Brace is selling for $34.70 on Amazon and it is Amazon Prime eligible.

I wore the brace as much as possible during the first couple of weeks of using it (even when not running). After that, I transitioned to wearing it just during my runs. Eventually, I was able to wean myself off of it altogether. Every once in awhile I will experience some achilles discomfort and so I will wear the brace again until I’m pain free.

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I don’t think the brace alone solved my tendonitis issues, I think it helped give me the nudge I needed to finally heal correctly. I still had to do the hard work to improve my muscle strength and running form. I also had to give my body time to let the inflammation go away. Will it work for everyone that suffers from achilles tendonitis? I can’t answer that. I can only share my story and I’m so happy it worked for me. I hope it can help you too.

P.S.  I am not a medical professional. Please consult your doctor for all medical questions and treatment. Also, the Aircast company has never heard of me. I am only sharing my experience using their product because I felt so inclined. The end.

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How to Get the Sweat Smell Out of Workout Clothes

I’m airing my dirty laundry today.

I’ve mentioned before that my husband runs to work. I do mean that literally. He runs 6.5 miles each way. Maybe once or twice a week I have mercy on him and offer him a ride, but he usually prefers to round-trip it. That’s 13 miles per day in the Atlanta heat and humidity. When he gets home, he looks like he has jumped into a lake during a rainstorm. He’s that wet. There is not a dry spot on him. He leaves sweaty footprints on the floor if I don’t have a towel out for him to stand on. It’s gross.

no-one-ever-drowned-in-sweat-best-motivational-running-quotes-300x300                                                                                                       image from sunburstraces.org

Now, I’m not trying to pick on him, it’s just to illustrate that our laundry situation is not for the faint of heart.

When my husband started running, I realized that even after I laundered his clothes, they still smelled. I couldn’t get the sweat smell out. I tried multiple washings, I tried specialty products. Nothing worked. I hope we aren’t the only ones with this problem! Maybe his sweat is just extra…special??

It took some trial, error and desperation, but I found a solution that works for us.

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If should be noted that my husband doesn’t run in cotton shirts or shorts. He’s wearing actual running/workout clothes – the dry fit type. These clothes happen to be made of that product we all used to make fun of – polyester.

So, here’s what I do to get his clothes smelling fresh and clean. Start with a bucket, large pot or even your sink if you can give it up for a few hours.

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Next, you’ll need some Oxiclean and some dirty workout clothes. The Oxiclean folks don’t know me, this is just what I’ve found works. I used to get the generic version from Target, but I haven’t seen it in awhile. It worked just the same.

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You’re going to want to use an entire scoop of OxiClean. I know, I know. It seems like a lot – it is. Add the entire scoop to no more than 4 pieces of clothing. You need a super high concentration of the Oxiclean for it to work its magic.

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Fill your bucket, pot or sink with hot water, making sure to fully dissolve the Oxiclean. You’ll want enough water to cover the clothing and give the clothes a little space to move.

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Agitate the mixture a little. I’ll use a spoon, tongs – that water is HOT! It’s almost as if you are making a sweaty clothes soup. Eww. Don’t worry…this pot is strictly reserved for laundry. I swear I don’t make chili in it. Or do I? 😉

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You’ll want the mixture to sit for at least a few hours until the water has cooled. If you remember, give it a stir every once in awhile to agitate the clothes.

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When the clothes are finished soaking it is time to drain the water off. The fun just keeps coming, folks!

Now, when I drain the water off it is brown. It’s really gross. I then throw the clothes into the washing machine and wash them with cold water. Since I’m usually combining them with other clothes to make a full load, there will be a little bit more OxiClean added to the machine. (I add it to every load I do.)

The last part is very important. Make sure you AIR DRY the clothes. Putting them in the dryer is not good – that just bakes the smell in. Air dry is the way to go.

I hope this works for you if you have the same stinky, sweaty problem we do. Not everyone does, I realize. My hubby is just…talented that way, I suppose! 🙂 Anyway, having clothes that smell springy fresh makes me much happier…until I have to clean them again! Ah, the circle of life…errr, laundry.

P.S. Please read the labels on your clothing before deciding to use this method. Not following the manufacturer’s directions is risky and I’m sure can lead to unintended results. If your clothes are already ruined because they stink, then you have nothing to lose. P.S.S. Kudos to you to working out and getting sweaty. Keep it up! 

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Racing Trophy Display Door

My husband became a runner when he was 36 years old.

Turns out, he’s really good at it. (I try not to hold that against him.)

If you are new to the world of running, let me enlighten you. Some runners become so enthralled with the sport that they start running races. It keeps you motivated in your training and many runners even enjoy *gasp* these races. Crazy, I know.

For every race you enter, you will receive a running bib with your number on it and for every race you complete you will usually earn a medal. Before long, you’ve got medals hanging from doorknobs (classy) and you’re looking for your checkbook in the junk drawer, but all you can find is – yep, you guessed it – a handful of running bibs.  

The accomplishment of finishing a race is AWESOME! Not having any place besides the junk drawer to show off your running accomplishments – not so cool.

Racing Trophy Display Door - Title

Trophy or Medal Board Made From An Old Door

So I decided to give Awesome Runner Husband a dedicated personalized trophy shelf to hang all of those awards in his office. My idea was that, over time, this DIY trophy shelf would be completely filled with layer upon layer of his awards. Evidence that he conquered another section of road. Memories of a relay race ran with friends. Reminders of how much he has worked for and how far he has come in taking control of his health. Motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

So i you are looking for a creative way to display trophies or how to display awards awards on a wall, you’ve come to the write place! Let’s get started!

Trophy or Medal Board

Trophy or Medal Board

When we remodeled the basement in our Oregon home, we streamlined the way the water pipes worked and in the process, removed some old doors. One of those old doors became the inspiration for my husband’s trophy board.

The doors were solid wood and even better, the door knobs were dummy knobs (non-turning). On a door with a functioning door hardware, there is a circle drilled through the door to hold both sides of the knob or handle. On a door with dummy hardware, the knob is just screwed into the door’s frame. To not have to deal with that big circle was a happy surprise!

Uh, did I mention the doors were in really gross shape? Not sure what’s been dripping down this door. Ewwww.

Gross old door

Gross old door

All I had to do was fill in those screw holes with wood putty, sand the door and paint the frame of the door a glossy black. I didn’t worry about painting the inset portion of the door because I was going to cover that with cork board.

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And, here’s a random selfie in safety glasses. Safety first, man!

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Cork board comes in rolls or squares at most any craft store, even Wal-mart. I happened to pick up the squares for this project.

I affixed the cork board to the door with a heavy-duty construction adhesive. Overkill, yes. However, we were out of every other kind of glue at the time. I couldn’t even find a darn glue stick. Keeping it real, folks.

So, I broke out the heavy-duty stuff! I’d imagine that wood glue would work just fine for this project though. If you haven’t worked with cork board before, it’s really easy to cut. Scissors or an utility/craft knife will easily cut through it. Here’s how it looked before we hung any of the medals on the board. (Side note: this very unfinished picture is from our Oregon house. And yes, we eventually did paint those patches on the wall!)

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When I was done, we hung the door from its hinges! I simply spray painted them black using some leftover spray paint. I considered spraying the screw heads black too, but decided they didn’t bother me as they were.

Old Door Hinges

When Awesome Runner Husband adds a new running bib, he staples it to the board. Some of his medals are stapled on there as well. Others are pinned up with a thumbtack.

Running Bibs and Medals

Running Bibs and Medals Display

I love the “collected over time” look the board currently has because it truly has filled in one race at a time!

Running Bibs and Medals

There are a few pictures up there too to keep things interesting! Even the kids have a medal they received from running their first race.

Running Bibs and Medals

Running Bibs and Medals

This board makes a BIG impact in our office and talk about a conversation starter! I love that I was able to incorporate the fruits of his labor into our home’s decor in a way that makes both of us happy. Most of all, I’m proud of him for all that he’s accomplished and for truly changing his lifestyle and health. It doesn’t just impact him, but our entire family in a truly positive way,

Running Bibs and Medals

Running Bibs and Medals

Running Bibs and Medals

Running Bibs and Medals

If you’ve done any DIY projects with doors or discovered other ways to display medals and ribbons, I’d love to see them! if you’re a runner or getting into running, let me know! The running community is one of the most welcoming groups of people on the planet – they all deserve a nice racing trophy display door. Even though I mainly stick to the treadmill, I have found so much encouragement from them.

Have a happy day!

Linking up with the awesome:  http://www.jenniferrizzo.com 

and the also awesome: http://shabbynest.blogspot.com

Weekend Bloggy Reading

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