Friday, August 3, 2012


It's been a busy few weeks! I was quite engrossed with a database project at work last week. In addition, I made a day trip up to Dartmouth College to present about Phonathon at a conference (Summer Institute in Educational Fundraising).

This week, there was an exciting trip to Boston for work -- I attended the RuffaloCODY Users Group and Annual Giving Conference. I met a bunch of great Phonathon people there and got to get my work-related geek on. Fun times!

As a result of all these goings-on, I have been somewhat neglectful with my updating.

First thing first. I promised an update about the GNC Women's Ultra Mega Active nutrition drink I got to replace (the very excellent but very expensive) Shakeology I had been drinking. The GNC beverage is a no-go. I tried the vanilla, which I found to be unfortunate tasting. It appeared to have been sweetened to a saccharin level with an artificial sweetener, which I did not like. It also seemed to slightly disagree with my stomach and made me feel like of heavy all day. I was able to return it for a full refund.

At the moment I have not been having a nutrition shake for breakfast, mostly due to cost. I am really, really trying to save for the new windows our condo board is requiring us to get by 2015. (Believe me I will need all that time to save the money for these windows. Plus, we'd like to replace the slider while we're at it if we can.) Instead for breakfast, I've been either eating Kind Bars or Ezekiel bread. We'll see how this goes.

I've been continuing to run in preparations for the Bridge of Flowers 10K that is happening a week from tomorrow (so August 11th). I was away in Boston for three days, Monday through Wednesday, and did not get a chance to run (although I walked almost five miles on Tuesday and swam on Wednesday at the hotel's pool, so I kept active).

Yesterday, I went on a 4.5 mile run, my first in four days. Felt fine. Today, I was scheduled for a long run of 7 miles. I did 6 mile runs the past two weekends, so I thought this was work out well. I even planned a special running route which took me on a brief trail run and then along the nearby Norwottuck Rail Trail.

Unfortunately, my legs were completely dead today, fatigued from yesterday's run after a bit of a break. I left the house a little before 9:00 a.m. for what would prove my worst run to date. I forced myself to run 5 miles (with a few very short walk intervals) before giving up. I ended up walking the last mile home covering only a little over 6 miles. Today was not my day for running. These things happen. I'll have to try the 7 mile run again the weekend after the 10K.

After collecting myself post-run with a tasty salad for lunch, I went out to check and mail. To my excitement an exercise related purchase had arrived, Trainer in a Bag.

My fascination with TRX suspension training is well documented on this blog. After taking a TRX class to really get an idea of what it was like, I really wanted to get the system to exercise with at home. The problem: it cost around $200. Yikes!

I decided to do some research and came across the Trainer in a Bag on Amazon. It cost $30 and, according to reviews, was basically the same as TRX only it came without DVDs and did come with a door anchor, which I needed. Also, the Trainer in a Bag is limited to 300 lbs, where as TRX can handle over 1,000 lbs. Since I weight 110 lbs, I felt the Trainer in a Bag would be able to handle me while saving me $170. (Saving for windows. Remember?)

When the trainer arrived, I immediately put it together, attached the door anchor and took it for a spin. It seems to work fine with my basement door.

Since, I am new to suspension training, I wanted to workout with a video. Using Youtube, I found an excellent bunch of TRX videos put together by a gentleman called Scott Herman. I went through one set of his beginner workout, which I plan to do in full tomorrow.

After playing around with the new system, it was easy to store in it's nice bag. It fits quite well with my other fitness equipment.

So far, I am very pleased. The Trainer in a Bag seems to be a solid suspension system at a very reasonable price. I found the clamps easy to adjust -- no more difficult than TRX, the straps sturdy, and the door anchor a great addition. I also got a strap that I can use to set up the trainer anywhere. This would be useful in case I want to exercise outside and use a tree for an anchor. I'm very excited to experiment more with my new fitness toy!

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