North Face Flight Series Better Than Naked Clothing: An endurance athletes dream


Looking for clothing for the endurance athlete? Look no further than the North Face’s Flight Series collection of Better Than Naked performance gear. The Better Than Naked line is completely performance-driven with premium features and a minimalistic design. They protect the athlete from the environment while providing comfort and durability.

North Face provides both a women’s and men’s line of clothing in their Better Than Naked series consisting of shirts, jackets, and shorts. All articles are extremely light functional and built for endurance athletes who may experience fluctuating conditions all within one days’ workout. The fabric is uniquely soft, yet also breathable and stretchy.

When I first tested the clothing, the morning began with a damp drizzle which faded away to a hot sun by the end of my workout. I was extremely impressed by the jackets ability to keep me dry and warm as well as be airy and unrestricting at the same time. As the temperature warmed up it was easy to store the jacket in my shorts pocket due to the little amount of space the jacket required to be stored. Under the jacket I wore the Better Than Naked short sleeve running shirt. It felt wonderful on and wicked the sweat away while still feeling light and cool.

Overall, the Better Than Naked clothing is a joy to wear for varying weather conditions as well as various training scenarios. With gear like this there is little need for a multitude of training outfits. This one can fit the bill for all.

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Inspiring woman…be one

Inspiration comes in many forms. Many find inspiration in different places. When it comes to triathlon and running we are inspired by women who dare to step up to the start line for the very first time, women who have battled personal challenges, women who have found sport in their golden years or after having children, and women who have used sports to lose weight, get healthy, and take their lives and their future into their own hands.

Many of these women are not professionals and they may not and most times don’t win their races. Many have seen triathlon and running as yet another challenge and have gone on to compete with dedication, positive attitudes and fierce determination.

You may ask, “Who are these women? Where can I find someone like that?” My reply is to look in the mirror. Each and every person has the talent, ability, and drive inside of them to run that next mile, pedal over the hill, swim just one more lap. You are the inspiration… own it.


Running skirts: 2013 fashion for endurance athletes (as seen on the Examiner)

Running skirts are the new fashion statement in the endurance sport world.  Almost every sports gear company offers a version of them now, but there is only one company that can call itself the original:

Check out the rest of this article and more info about on the Examiner at:

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Running Fashion for 2013

Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting with Cindy Lynch and Christy Baker, twin sisters and co-owners of Both Cindy and Christy are mothers who combine the world of fitness, business, and motherhood into a whirlwind of a successful life. The following is the interview I had with Cindy.

Me: How did it all start?

Cindy (paraphrased): In 2008 I entered Christy into the lottery for the 2008 ING New York City Marathon.  I told her not to worry because our chance for getting drawn was slim. Then, she got picked. At the time Christy had no illusions or desire to run a marathon, she was a fashion designer for her own children’s clothing line. Christy was determined not to wear the “regular” gym shorts that everyone else wore and she set out to design something “cute” to wear for the race. She came up with the running skirt. Everyone complimented us on our skirts and when we got home we both put a little money into the business and my husband made us a website. Five years later…. Here we are. Running Skirts is an internationally recognized company that sells skirts online as well as in Dick’s Sporting Goods and other local running and triathlon stores around the country.

Me: Wow that’s amazing! Since you are a mother how do you incorporate fitness into your every day life as well as your children’s?

Cindy (paraphrased): We find that we do most of our training early in the morning before our kids get up. We enjoy running but we also work with a trainer and do a “bootcamp” style workout once a week to keep us strong. As far as our children, we try to be fit as a family. They participate many times in the kid races that are held concurrently with many race series.

Me: What is your favorite type of workout?

Cindy (paraphrased): I like speed workouts the best as far as running goes. I also like “crossfit” type workouts because they help to keep the injuries away.

Me: Do you have a favorite race series?

Cindy (paraphrased): I really enjoy the Disney race series both in California and Florida. They are a lot of fun both to run in and for the family.

Me: Do you see a triathlon anywhere in your future?

Cindy (paraphrased): Well, my husband bought me a road bike for Christmas and is trying to encourage me to do a triathlon in Hawaii this next year. We will see…..

In visiting with both Christy and Cindy I found them to be a delight and an inspiration for mothers today who desire to be fit, do what they love, and dare to take a chance on an idea and make a dream a reality.

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Keeping Kids Active

Anyone who has watched their child on the playground knows that most kids are naturally physically active and love to move around. But what might not be apparent is that climbing to the top of the monkey bars or playing tag can lead to a lifetime of being active.

As our kids get older, it can be a challenge for them to get enough daily activity. Reasons include increasing demands of school, a feeling among some kids that they lack sports skills, a lack of active role models, and general “business” in families.

Children of different ages present differing needs when it comes to physical activity. Preschoolers need play-based activities that help them in developing important motor skills. Such activities include tossing and catching a ball, hopscotch, and follow the leader.

School-age kids generally have a desire to spend more of their time on sedentary pursuits such as video games or television. During this time it is important for parents to help guide their children to physical activities they are interested in, enjoy doing, and feel successful doing. Such activities can include traditional sports such as basketball and soccer to less-traditional such as biking, swimming, and martial arts. Simply encouraging a set amount of time spent playing outside can help with encouraging activity.

As a parent it is crucial to be active yourself and support your kids’ interests. If you start this early enough, they will come to regard activity as a normal and fun part of your family’s everyday routine. It is never too late to start.

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You are NOT Invincible!

What do you think is the most common misconception about exercise? Now, this answer isn’t scientific, but it is based on personal experience and observation.

I would argue that the most common misconception is that more is always better.

It’s this little lie that has led to countless injuries. Which, coincidently, force the participant to workout less for an extended period of time. So, my next gift to you this Christmas season is some tips on avoiding exercise related injuries.

First off…Know your body.

Are you predisposed to knee problems? Did you sustain a shoulder injury in high school? My mom remembers doing a handspring in high school and landing on her neck. Although she fortunately got up and walked away, to this day she has upper back pain. She needs to be aware of that when she begins a new activity.

Picking on my parents here, my dad has had the cartilage removed from both of his knees. Lateral movements like those involved in basketball and racquetball are not good choices for him.

Second…Are you from Mars or Venus?

It has nothing to do with a superior sex, but come on, admit it, we’re different. I confess to once feeling challenged to bench as much as the guy next to me. He was only in his second set, so luckily, my stupidity didn’t kill me. But I did drop the bar on my chest.

Women are generally more flexible than men. Gymnasts aside, most men won’t perform as well in yoga or Pilates, as women will.

Interestingly, some studies show that women are more susceptible to injury during their menstrual cycle. So, be extra careful during that time of the month.

Third…Be willing to ask for help. 

Hint, hint. Bootcamp is a great idea. Working out in a group gives you some accountability. A good friend of mine was anxious to get back to running after an injury. If not for her running partner pointing out that she was limping, she might have done too much too soon and really exacerbated her injury.

Also, at Moms Who TRI, trainer, Kristen Hench has a BA in sports medicine. Having a trainer who can offer solutions and alternatives when a certain activity is not good for you, is invaluable.

Next…Grow up. 

Or don’t. The possibility of injury is related to your age. As a rule, youth should not engage in heavy weight training, it’s not conducive to the maturation of their bones. On the other hand, the older you get, the more important resistance exercise is for the protection of your bones and prevention of osteoporosis.

Older individuals should not participate in high impact sports, simply because broken bones and other injuries take much longer to heal.

Fifth…Warm up. 

Who among us hasn’t been tempted to skip the warm up? It seems so pointless, like a waste of time. Shouldn’t we just get going? NO! Even if you’re short on time, do not skip the warm up. If you want to tear a muscle or sprain something, go right ahead full steam into an intense workout.

Muscles are like a rubber band. A good article on this can be found here:

The cold rubber band is the classic example of what a muscle is like prior to activity.  We need to heat the rubber band, or muscle, prior to activity.

Sixth…Back to our original concept… more isn’t always better… don’t overdo it. 

Don’t take it from me,

Rest and recovery in sports is just as important as training. Without allowing the body to recuperate, you compromise performance. Make it a priority to prevent injuries through rest and recovery. You sacrifice form when muscles are tired, and you are more prone to injury.

Everything needs rest, you are no exception. Cars overheat. Your laptop overheats. Things wear out and break. Lightbulbs burn out. So, do yourself a favor, if you don’t want to overheat, break or burn out… sometimes you just need a rest!


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Winterizing Your Health

In spite of all the glorious aspects of autumn, it heralds an end to (un-bundled) hiking, water skiing, swimming and a myriad of other fun ways to sneak activity in our lives. Usually, more of our time is spent indoors with quieter hobbies. We shift our focus to look forward to once-a-year favorite foods, hot chocolate, good books by a fireplace and board games with friends. So what happens to your exercise routine? Can you maintain progress toward your health goals even in the face of chilly obstacles?

When I was a kid, my parents’ boat was the favorite summer pastime. As September slipped over the horizon, we begged to get in one more trip to the lake before Daddy winterized the boat.

In the marine world, winterizing a boat is the single most important maintenance duty. If it is done correctly, winterizing simplifies getting going again in the summer. It greatly extends the life of the boat and its engine by protecting its components during winter hibernation.

Our bodies are intricate machines. It makes sense that caring for them, especially in the slower seasons of life, will lengthen our lives, prevent injuries and keep us on track for toward our health goals.

So how do you winterize your body?

1. Establish a new routine.
Don’t expect to be able to keep the same pace that you did all summer. That doesn’t mean take it easy! It just means you might have to get creative in order to squeeze in workouts around the holidays, snow storms, etc. Find a couple workouts you can do without any equipment. Write them out and stuff them in  your suitcase when traveling. Find a couple workouts you can do in 16 minutes – try using the Tabata protocol.

2. Invest in a good pair of mittens and a good beanie cap.
Everyone has their preferences, but I tried everything before I found what I think is the best solution to miserably cold runs. A fleece lined beanie cap can make me start to steam, even in the coldest weather. Mittens keep your fingers tucked in close to each other, snug as bugs in a rug. And purchase some Hot Hands – those things are like magic!

3. Layer, layer, layer!

4. Find a couple workout DVDs that you enjoy.
Sometimes it’s nice to know just exactly how long your workout is going to take. Especially when you know that the rest of the house will be waking soon, or others are waiting on you to do something.

5. Throw a make-over party!
     Ask your friends about their healthy versions of your favorite holiday dishes. If no one has any, challenge them all to Google one, test it and share the results. Delicious, easy versions of nearly every recipe are out there! Check out Hungry Girl, Chocolate Covered Katie,  Skinny Taste and Eating Well. 

I’m sure there are other obstacles to winter workouts, but I’m just as sure there are solutions to every single one of them. What are your plans for a healthy winter and happy holiday season?

Boat winterization facts: Article Source:

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“I Should Do That” – and she did

This blog has told the stories of several women who put their physical training to good use. These ladies, of all ages, have shared how they used their passion for fitness to benefit others. Let me introduce you to one more, Diane Lindquist.

Diane just completed the Marine Corps Marathon. This is an iconic race, held in D.C. every October. It is known as the “people’s marathon” because 30,000 runners from age 14 to the 90-year-old veteran, Jonathan Mendes, who became the race’s oldest finisher in 2011, compete simply for the purity of the race. There is no monetary prize.

“I chose to do a marathon because when I finished the half marathon I had no injuries and I felt I still had some left in me. I heard so much about the Marine Corps marathon, I wanted to experience it myself,” Diane said.

The Marine Corps Marathon is famous in the race world. As soon as registration opens, the race is usually full within hours. Suddenly, at the end of a very busy day, Diane realized she had missed her chance to register.

“Why don’t you try running for a charity?” her husband asked. At first she was concerned about raising money, but she boldly decided to stretch outside her comfort zone. Diane chose to use her marathon to support Jill’s House. By race day, she had surprised herself, raising $1252!

Diane tackled training systematically. She selected a popular plan called, “Run Less, Run Faster,” by the F.I.R.S.T. institute.  Training isn’t supposed to be easy, but Diane found ways to make the most of every moment. “Running is my therapy,” she said. “It’s cheaper than therapy! But the hardest part is when I have to run alone, with no one to help pass the time. I’ve learned to use that time to have conversations with God.”

In fact, Diane credits God with getting her into running. She was inspired by her sister and friends who had begun running 10 mile races and half-marathons. “Then, God just opened my mouth and I said, ‘I should do that!’”

Diane says that running is teaching her to rely more on God. “I want to learn to be more positive and not become my worst enemy when the running becomes a challenge or there is pain.”

Post Marine Corps, Diane is staring undaunted into her next challenge. “I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” she says.

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Fit for Someone Else

Moms Who TRI clients are more about abundant life than anything else. They are determined to do everything they can to share that life, health and joy with everyone within their reach. And they start young.

Meet Anna Lauer. Anna is big sister to Sadie, a three-year-old survivor of neuroblastoma. Although she’s only 7 herself, Anna has a grownup passion for cancer awareness and finding a cure.

October 14th marked the Lauers’ third year participating in the Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer. The first year, her mom, Erin, took the lead nicknaming their team, “Strolling With Sadie.” Even then, Anna had a vision and gave the team of friends and donors who helped them raise funds and awareness, “Sadie’s Stars.” It stuck.

Most of the participants in the CureSearch Walk are somehow connected to a child with cancer. The event raises money for cancer research specifically related to childhood cancer. “The money raised there helps children get better,” Anna said. Anna knows that empathy is a big motivator for people to get involved. “A lot of people aren’t interested,” she pointed out.

So this year my dog, Brave, and I joined Sadie’s Stars at Fairfax Corner for the nearly 2 mile walk. From beginning to end, a festiveness filled the air; the center square was chaos! There were clowns, balloons, a one-man band, face painters and more.

The excitement escalated even more when they announced the totals of an exceptional fund raising effort. Anna was a big part of that, and she was recognized publicly before the walk began.

An organized walk or race fits perfectly into the Moms Who TRI lifestyle, but don’t get the idea that Anna Lauer will be resting between now and next year’s CureSearch Walk. So far this year she has also participated in the Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon, hosted a lemonade stand during the Burke Centre Festival and helped with the Friends of Sadie blood drive. All of these activities support awareness and research for childhood cancer.

Exercise and fitness are excellent ways to maintain health and live and long life. However, sometimes things happen that can’t be helped – such as a child suffering from cancer. That’s where we can step in, following Anna’s lead. There are myriad ways that we can help others to live long, healthy and happy lives. What will you do?


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Don’t Get Stuck!

Once upon a time, what seems like a lifetime ago, in a land not so very far away, lived a scared little girl. She had accomplished the unthinkable. Having conquered her second marathon, she found herself on a crazy schedule of running 50 miles a week and nothing to train for. She wondered, What will happen if I stop running?

Have you been there? Maybe you’ve been doing a certain exercise regimen or diet and made wonderful progress. But life changes. Interruptions come and sometimes they’re not temporary. Or maybe you’re just tired of gutting out one more mile and getting up at 5a.m. to workout one more time. Maybe you’ve sustained an injury after pushing to and past your goal.

What will happen if you stop what you’re doing and change direction with your fitness? Years ago, in the peak of my distance running days, something terrible happened. My husband and I moved and I didn’t feel safe exploring the new streets in the early, dark morning hours. I didn’t have my running club. But, I worried that if I began running less, or started doing something different for my health that I might lose all that I had worked for. Would I gain weight? Would I lose my self-discipline? Would I get lazy?

It took an immense amount of prayer, our very big God, and courage that I didn’t think I had. I stepped tentatively, a few miles at a time, off of the proverbial treadmill and found myself where I am today.

Today, I am still fit, stronger than I have ever been and enjoying a wide variety of activities. Daily, I commit 30 minutes to an hour to exercise. Three days a week is usually a bootcamp style workout. Recently, I started doing yoga on the other three days and taking Sunday for complete rest. I am enjoying fitness more than I ever have before; I actually get excited for each new day’s challenge.

Don’t get stuck doing the same thing over and over simply because it worked before. Tons of things work and health doesn’t have to hurt. Switch it up or take a few days off. Add in flexibility work and long relaxing walks. Everything you do that moves you, that clears your head, that changes your pace and gives you energy is good for you. Try something new and enjoy the benefits!

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