Monday, February 16, 2015

Getting antsy at 39.5 weeks pregnant

I’m down to my last 7 days of this pregnancy. I’m planning on a VBAC, but I do have a c-section scheduled for next Monday. Either way it goes, I’m just done with being pregnant! I’ve been pretty antsy lately, not to mention uncomfortable (so it goes), so I’ve been trying to exercise more. It’s usually in the form of walking, but today I upped the ante with some weights!

IMG_20150216_143650 [Doing some overhead presses. Can you tell I’m 39.5 weeks pregnant from the back?]

Here’s the workout (plus 2 miles I walked earlier in the morning) --


For the upper body circuit I used 15 lb dumbbells and the lower body circuit I used body weight (which is currently 27 lbs heavier than normal!). I kept it pretty modified and chill, definitely didn’t push myself, but my muscles were still feeling it.

Earlier today I took some other well needed “medicine” – Nuun. I’ve been craving chips a lot lately…which usually means I just want salt (or electrolytes). So instead, because we don’t have any chips in the house, I drank a glass of TriBerry Nuun and it was just what I needed. Love me some Nuun!!

IMG_20150216_103507 [See the dust of snow. Montana has been amazingly warm this winter, but we did get a few puffs of snow last night…which has already melted]

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Custom made ‘Race Medal Hangers’ | DIY with DVF Fitness

 IMG_20150211_220901[as seen on Instagram & Facebook]

I’ve been working on these on and off for a while now. I’ve been wanting somewhere to hang my race medals, but haven’t been a huge fan of the styles that are out there now. I’m not going to bash on any brand or style, but I’ll just say they weren’t what I’ve been looking for. At all. So, what do I do? Make them myself of course. DIY is the way to go!!


Woodworking is my favorite hobby (aside from running) so that is what these are made out of. This is pine wood that my husband cut down (from the very beginning, the tree) and milled into lumber himself! We go all out at our house ;) They are about 5” x 5” squares, beveled and stained.


The hardest part was deciding what kind of “hook” I wanted. That’s ONE of the reason I haven’t liked any of the other medal hangers out there for sale, their hooks just aren’t my style. So I went to Home Depot and looked around. I almost bought some plain old pine knobs, but instead went with a couple of dowel rods (2 different sizes). Then I assembled my own “hooks”, using a drill & some glue, and I really LOVE how they turned out!!


I only made these three blocks – 13.1 (half marathon), 26.6 (marathon), and DVF (fitness), and hung them in front of my treadmill. That corner of my house is quickly turning into my favorite place! I still have a few additions (shelf, posters, mantras, etc) to hang, but here’s how it currently looks with my new medal hangers.


My favorite race distance is 13.1, the half marathon. So of course that distance needs it’s own hook.


I have only ran 1 marathon and it sucked so bad that I’ve almost sworn off that distance. But, I really do need to make up for the horrible experience and try again. So, 26.2 got it’s own hook to [hopefully] motivate me!


My DVF fitness block (my fitness brand/company) gets it’s own block and is reserved for any other random race distance that I run (or tri). I don’t often run 5Ks & 10Ks (especially ones with a medal), but if I ever do, those will go on this hook. The one and only medal on it right now is from a 9 mile race (first place). For some reason, the ‘random’ race distances that I’ve ran so far haven’t had medals :(


I will also be adding a shelf to this wall, just above the medal hangers. It will hold other random race prizes (ribbons, plaques, etc). And the wall needs a few more fitness/running inspired quotes & pictures.


Just after I started making these medal hangers, NYC Running Mama (Michele) posted THIS great idea for displaying her medals, which I’m in love with too. Maybe once I have ran so many races and have medals coming out of my ears like she does then I’ll use her fish bowl idea. Or maybe I could do something like this…just shove all my race bibs in one. It’s not as classy looking as Michele’s, but what on earth do you do with all those bibs?


Monday, February 9, 2015

Finding Traction – ultra runner Nikki Kimball

I JUST found out about this film, Finding Traction, coming out soon (premiers here in Bozeman tomorrow, February 10th), first air date is February 23rd. It is about ultra runner Nikki Kimball (from Bozeman) and “her quest to become the fastest person in history to run America's oldest hiking trail, the 273-mile Long Trail”, in Vermont.


Unfortunately I am busy tomorrow night, so I wont be able to go to the FREE premier, but I’ll definitely be looking for it on our Montana PBS stations, starting February 23rd at 8pm MST. It will also be available to purchase in March, from the Montana PBS online store.


More about Finding Traction –>  FACEBOOK PAGE, TWITTER, and BLOG

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Almost 38 weeks, almost done

I’ve been trying to walk and/or lift weights every day during these last few weeks of pregnancy. At almost 38 weeks, I’m exhausted and uncomfortable, but I NEED to workout or I’m in a super bad mood all day (just ask my kids :/ ). Today’s workout was much needed, as it is every day I guess ;) My baby girl either really liked this one or really hated it because she was jumpin’ and wiggling the whole time!

IMG_20150204_145057_312(maybe I should smile in these post workout pictures…I felt great even though my face says otherwise!)

I posted THESE third trimester workouts not too long ago, and here are a few more I’ve done lately (including today’s):

image[as seen on instagram]


And just a reminder, this is your third trimester. Don’t push yourself with these!! Take it as slow as needed, or the weights as light as needed. Listen to your body & baby!!

These are also great workouts to do if you’re NOT pregnant! Just up the intensity and/or the sets/rounds/weights and they make for great workouts just the same.

*Find these, and other workouts, on my pinterest ‘WORKOUTS’ board

Monday, February 2, 2015

4 tricks to make treadmill running a little more enjoyable

I live in Montana and have [almost] 3 kids (baby #3 is due any day!). During the winter months here (basically 9 months out of the year), it’s hard for me to get outside to run. Either it’s too dark & beyond freezing in the hours that my husband is home to watch the kids, or I would have to take all of them out in the freezing during the day and try to push them in the snow. I have many more excuses, but basically it’s just easier for me to run on the treadmill at home.

A lot of people would rather die or something much worse than run on the treadmill, especially for their long runs. I on the other hand have found a special bond with my treadmill. My treadmill attachment is nothing as severe as RunEmz’s but I don’t have bad feelings towards it (except maybe in the summer, when I know I can actually run outside more often). Here are some of my tips and tricks to beat the boredom and hatred towards the “dreadmill” and instead actually enjoy running on it!


*These tips & tricks are not just for the treadmill. Use them on the bike trainer,
the elliptical, the stair master, etc…all those indoor “simulators” of the real deal

1. Read a good book


This one is my favorite way to beat the treadmill. I have read many a book while running on the treadmill in the past year. I don’t recommend an actual, physical book because of the very small font type & the ache of keeping the book open (especially paperbacks). Instead, read an e-book on a tablet of some sort (I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab2, as seen in the picture above). You can increase the font size & alter the brightness so you can actually see the words while you run.

The key to this “treadmill trick” is to find books that are really good and entertaining to you. Sure I like to get in some reading of religious topics and fitness & nutrition subjects, but when on a long run on the treadmill that ain’t gonna fly. I have an account with GoodReads and love getting good book suggestions, from friends and other people that I follow, that will entertain me for hours.

You can either purchase e-books (ie:,, googleplay, Barnes & Noble, etc.) or you can borrow them from your local library using digital collection on (which I use a lot, only problem is you have to have patience!!). Not every library has a digital collection or can be found on, but you might as well check (you’ll need a library card to get access online).  

2. Watch a T.V. show or movie


There is always something to watch on tv or a movie you haven’t seen. My treadmill is set up with a monitor in front and I can hook up my computer to it. That way I can watch something online, or pop in an actual movie to watch. There are a lot of places online to watch tv shows or movies, in particular,, or netflix streaming. (along with other websites that are a little more sketch, but as long as you are careful they have a lot of shows & movies too).

If you have a 90-120ish minute long run scheduled, head over to redbox & pick up a movie you haven’t seen yet (or one of your favorites). Or for some running inspired movies that will keep you motivated on the treadmill, check out these options: Race for the Soul, Running Madness, Without Limits, Running on the Sun, Prefontaine, Four Minutes, Spirit of the Marathon, Chariots of Fire, Personal Best, The Long Run, Town of Runners, etc...there are SOOO many!)

3. Play a game

I do this one A LOT, particularly when I’m just not feeling it and a book or a movie aren’t gonna cut it. For those days when running just doesn’t feel good but you need to get it in, on the treadmill or not. I’m sure you can come up with a random “game” to play on the treadmill by yourself, but here are some I use–>

*Intervals: Pick a time interval and/or a distance interval and change your incline and/or speed at those random intervals. It’s better to keep the intervals shorter, especially if you’re REALLY not feeling the run, then after you have warmed up and gotten past the hump, lengthen out the intervals (if you want).

    • For example – After your warm-up of a 5 minute jog, you increase your pace by .1 mph every 2 minutes. After 10 minutes, decrease your pace by .4 mph. Keep going until your specific time has been reached.
    • OR – After your warm-up, do an incline pyramid (keeping your pace the same the whole time) – every 1/4 mile, increase your incline by 1 increment (depending on how the treadmill incline increases). Once you hit a certain incline, start heading back down, every 1/4 mile, decrease your incline by 1 increment. ETC!

The shorter intervals (a couple minutes or a few hundred meters) keep things changing & it’s a little easier to be distracted by the constant change in pace or incline. Your dreaded treadmill run will be over before you know it!

*Name That Tune: This is an ACTUAL game of course! Turn on Pandora (random station or a favorite) and cover the screen so you have to guess who the artist, or song title, or album is. Pick a “punishment” for guessing right and a “reward” for guessing right.

  • FOR EXAMPLE: If you guess the artist right, you keep your elevation & speed the same. If you guess wrong, increase your elevation by 1 increment. When the song is over stay where you’re at, that is your starting point for the next song. Etc.

4. Turn your run workout into a HIIT workout

[this workout is obviously NOT done on a treadmill, but it is an example of a HIIT workout you could easily do on the treadmill]

Some days I want to get some lifting/strength in, along with my running, especially if it’s a shorter run or I have intervals scheduled. Instead of running for the constant time, jump off after you finish the interval and do a different kind of active recovery. It may mess up your mileage requirements (especially if your running coach had your active recovery between intervals at an easy pace. So you may need to adjust your mileage if that’s the case).

My treadmill restarts after 5 minutes of not using it, so I try to get in some lifting during that time. If it restarts, then I slap my hand and try to do it faster next time ;) An easy HIIT workout you can set up is to select 4-6 different exercises (you can focus on your total body, or just your core, or butt & legs, etc). Pick those exercises and set your interval timer to a work:rest ratio (20-45 seconds work to 10-20 seconds rest).

  • Get it done: Do your warm up, then start your HIIT with a specified distance/pace on the treadmill (ie: 1/2 mile at 8:00 pace). Stop the treadmill, jump off, and start the your interval time. Go through those 4-6 exercises at your specified work:rest interval. Stop the time when done, jump back on the treadmill & run that same 1/2 mile at 8:00 pace. REPEAT. Go until you hit the mileage you were shooting for.

Here’s another example of a HIIT workout you can do, that could include a run on the treadmill


Now you don’t have to hate the treadmill so much! you can actually ENJOY it when you’re forced to run on it ;)

What else do you do to beat the boredom on the treadmill (or elliptical, stair master, bike trainer, row machine, etc)? I’d love to hear more suggestions than these that I use often.

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