Tag Archives: Running

Procrastination never helped anyone reach their goals!

Happy Monday! New Year is around the corner and there’s only THREE more days left until we ring in 2015! I am getting excited for all that awaits me in the upcoming year, but there’s still so much to do to finish out 2014 which was an AMAZING year in my book!

Today I was procrastinating on getting out for a run—I let myself laze around on Saturday and Sunday and so I missed my opportunity to get that last LONG run in this year. Today’s culprit: I looked at my phone and it said “FEELS LIKE 18 DEGREES.” Now I ran all last winter in temps sometimes below zero and crazy wind chills so this really should not have been a challenge but today it was—we have been experiencing more mild temperatures here in Chicago and well, my body was revolting against rolling out of bed and into the chilly temps this morning!

IMG_0186Here’s the screen shot, taken while cowering under my covers and tweeting my friends this morning. This was taken after I had hit snooze at least 3 times–yes it was definitely feeling like a MONDAY morning!








I love social media—thanks to seeing other running friends and fitness friends posting that they actually made it to the gym or even had FINISHED their early morning workout, I knew I would feel like a schmuck if I didn’t get out for a run. Plus, 3 days left in the year–right then and there I made the commitment to myself that I would run EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Oh Yeah!

IMG_0187First, I needed to warm up from the inside out and so drank a cup of hot Lemon Water! Ahh….it hit the spot! I then put on my neck scarf I got from Detroit FreePress Marathon Expo and covered up my entire head, grabbed my 13.1 gloves (my first race of 2015 will be a 1/2 marathon on 1/24/15: Chicago Winter F3 Lake Half Marathon  <–Still Time To Sign UP!) and laced up to brave the elements.  Of course, safety first friends and it was DARK out there so I was sure to wear my Nathan Reflective Vest too–it is one of my most worn pieces of running gear!

I will not lie in saying that within the first mile my cheeks felt balmy and the sting of the fresh air upon my face was very brisk. Of course though as all winter runners know you begin to warm up by mile 1 and I had to remove my gloves from my sweaty hands. Yeah, I was beginning to overheat and I also was watching the clock—I was running out of time so of course this busy mom started to pick up the pace. The only thing with that plan was the cold air was freezing my throat and my legs were crying for a break so I did end up taking 2 short 1/2 block walking breaks on my 3mile run today. Let’s just say—I am so proud and happy I fit this one in today. I know we’ve all been there, it’s when you push yourself to do the training and put the effort into getting it done that sets you apart from the amateurs and wannabe runners. I’m ready to push my body to the Max in 2015, I plan to run smart, follow a set plan and stay injury free!

Get it done friends, your mind, body and soul will thank you! <3 I log all of my running on NikePlus so if you would like to be friends Look me up, my screen name is jennvossIMG_0191

Cheers to Ending 2014 STRONG!


Introducing a refreshing NEW Sports Drink: Phenoh 7.4

IMG_9327 Hello THIRSTY & FIT-Minded friends! I have to take today to share with you a review and details on a NEW sports drink that I was able to take for a test drive recently.  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have seen me post and mention this over the past few weeks.  I just have to fill you in on what I really liked about this drink and my first hand experience!

IMG_9219Here is my Phenoh 7.4 that arrived on my doorstep.






IMG_9535When looking for phenoh 7.4 here is what you will find on your store shelves! Look for it near other sports drinks, or near where you would find flavored/enhanced waters. To get yours TODAY and check out more about this new sports drink, you can simply go to their website at PHenOH If you are on twitter, follow them at @pHenOH_7point4 and on Instagram their handle is @phenoh74



Let’s start with the BASICS….Phenoh 7.4 is made with just 7 natural ingredients to promote health and athletic performance, ultimately it has everything that your body needs to stay balanced during stress and exercise. As you can see on the label, this drink is: Paleo-Friendly, Low Glycemic, and high in Vitamin C. Here is peek at the nutrition label—check out the list of Benefits too, I love that it helps PREVENT TOOTH DECAY! IMG_9539

THE FIRST ALKALINE sports drink: A solution that makes sense! The body is naturally alkaline and it must stay that way in order to function properly. Stress and exercise cause the production and buildup of acidic compounds in our blood, contributing to fatigue and negative health effects. When you take a closer look, the average diet today is overly acidic. Conventional sports drinks, can be overloaded with simple sugars and chemicals, are also extremely acidic–research shows that current sports beverages can do more HARM than good because they contain high levels of acidity. At pH 7.4, Phenoh 7.4 is the first sports drink focused on balancing pH, using only the finest natural ingredients. Phenoh 7.4 helps to keep your body balanced.

THE PHENOH ADVANTAGE above others: Phenoh 7.4 is made with the finest organic Aloe vera, sweetened with naturally low glycemic organic agave nectar, and is high in potassium with no added sodium. Not only does it have essential nutrients, it helps us rebuild after stress, also provides anti-inflammatory effects and has the ability to reduce post-exercise pain while giving a boost to the immune system. Phenoh 7.4 is also fortified with magnesium and vitamin C to promote healthy metabolism.  At just 30 calories per 8oz serving, Phenoh 7.4 is your healthy beverage alternative to sports hydration and everyday refreshment.

ORAL HEALTH and ACIDITY: This is the driving purpose behind the creation of Phenoh 7.4 by Alex Schmotter who came up with this new formula when he began researching the detrimental oral affects that sports drinks have on our oral health. Basically, he was out on a bike ride, drinking his sports drink thinking about how he’d drink a bright blue drink and swish it around for a few seconds, swallow, and then repeat the process. Common sense told him that this was not very good for your teeth. Hence began his mission to create a performance based drink that was acid-free. There is a lot to be said too for the linking of good oral health to overall health so it’s a good idea to take care of your teeth!

IMG_9228My Experience was very positive from the first sip I took of Phenoh 7.4! I did share it with my 12 year old son who made a face at the taste, but then he makes a face at most anything. Right away I noticed it did not have any strong FLAVOR per say but it was a light, honey-like taste. Immediately I recognized the sweetness of the Agave Nectar mentioned in the ingredients of the product.



IMG_9267Knowing that Phenoh can increase your VO2 Max by 10%, I decided the very next day to take it to my zumba class and drank it instead of water while teaching. It was so refreshing and it really quenched my thirst while dancing. As a fitness instructor, I like to make my moves and cues larger to engage and energize my classes–I sweat A LOT. On average I do over 6,000 steps per zumba class and I was thankful I brought a second bottle with me because I drank that one too right after teaching. It settled easy on my tummy and it gave me extra energy to drive and pick up my kids after their evening activities too.

I took my Phenoh 7.4 with me to drink in the car pre-run one morning. Often when I need a pick me up early, I will drink a small cup of coffee but the Phenoh seemed to work just as fine for me. I was able to pick up a faster pace during my run and upon returning I drank a second serving post-workout while stretching in my living room. I had no issues with cramping or DOMS the following 24hours.

My recommendation is that one can ultimately drink Phenoh as a pre or post workout drink. I love the convenience of these drink containers—they easily fit in my small tote, I was able to store them in a console in my car and they fit nicely in the door of my fridge–easy to grab-n-go. I find when I am prepared with the right fuel, I have better balance in my life and Phenoh 7.4 was a great addition this month!

In closing, I would like to say that this is an exciting addition to the many options already out there for sports drinks. If you are looking for a natural alternative to fuels and follow a more paleo-inspired lifestyle you must try this sports drink! Sports enthusiasts, athletes of all levels and even busy moms & dads who are on the go can enjoy this beverage as an everyday refreshment to stay hydrated and energized!

This post was sponsored by PHenOH through my partnership with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Be Healthy & Active Always!

xoxo Jenn

Detroit Marathon, New PR and First International Race!


Marathon Number 3 Complete!

Wahoo! Detroit is my hometown, I was very excited to run this race! I trained long hours and hard for this, I knew it was going to be a good race for me, in fact I CONVINCED myself that this was going to be my best race yet.

The Journey Begins….I was laughing to myself as my husband dropped me off to catch the Metra into downtown Chicago. I said this trip reminded me of that movie Trains, Planes & Automobiles. I was taking Car, then Metra, then walking to Union Station and then another Train to make it into Dearborn Heights on Friday evening. On the way, I pondered the race, my goals and training and listened to music to get me mentally for the weekend. I was also drinking lots of water and my hubby had kindly packed me a Jason’s Deli turkey wrap to enjoy for my dinner, it was delicious!

The Expo! Wow, I had a blast at the expo, my mom and sister came with and we spent nearly 3 hours there! I can get lost in there and we spent a while at The Stick booth, the man running it looked at me and said “you have tight quads” just what you want to hear as a runner the day before a race, lol. As a gift my mom bought me a stick, just the 10mins I was using it at the booth I could tell I was working out some deep knots in my calves. It was exciting because I was able to meet up with several friends from social media in person, for the last 6 months I’ve been training and checking in with my good friend Emily White, check out her blog & read her review on Detroit Marathon here:  I only made a couple purchases, a blue hat to match my race outfit, a Girls run the D neck scarf & a jar of PB2 (only $5 a jar!). Here are a few fun pics from the expo!

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Flat Jenn was ready, everything laid out the night before, but I had a hard time settling into a deep sleep. It was like Christmas Eve, I’m sure as a runner you can relate!photo 1 (5)

Race Day Sunday! Woke up at 3:30am and did some static stretches, got dressed and had my usual 1/2 bagel w/ PB &Banana for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Bathroom, shoe and gear check and we had a later start downtown than my dad wanted we left at 5:10am. I walked out door wearing extra layer of clothing & my race belt with 4 packets of Island Boost! Traffic was clear until after we excited the Lodge off of I-94 and then I saw RED LIGHTS. Immediately my heart began to race, would my parents be able to get close enough for me to walk? My GPS was showing 8 mi from the starting line. Luckily we got off and I saw people in running gear parking & walking and not knowing how far away I left my gear check bag in car, grabbed belt and water bottle with Energy & Endurance and bolted from car to walk with other runners.

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The start is always invigorating, the national anthem from both countries were sang and I felt proud to be an American in this race! The waiting part is the hardest, I was saying hello to others who had positioned themselves with me around the 4:25 pacer. I was not sure if I could hang with this crowd, I knew this was an ambitious group to join but I felt confident and ready to run a good race! By mile 3-4 we were crossing the Ambassador bridge and people were stopping for selfies but I was determined to stay on track with my pack. I did snap a few but got nothing that could represent the beauty of the sky that morning. In Windsor, I paired up with a guy named Brad who became my running buddy for the majority of the race! He and I happily chatted about running, our families and our goals for the year as the miles flew by. Could we really already be at mile 9? I tossed my gloves around here, the first of my clothing to go to the sidelines. Soon we were heading into the tunnel back to the US and it was LOUD and HOT in there! I still had not removed my arm sleeves or my vest and I was happy coming out of the tunnel that I still had all my clothes with me because that cold air hit us hard! Brad and I had been ahead of the 4:25 pacer up until the tunnel and the pack caught up with us after we emerged. Soon after we were running through neighborhoods and Brad and I pulled ahead of the pack again. I was starting to struggle keeping pace, my front quads were tiring and I was praying my legs would not cramp up on me! Entering Belle Islle I knew I was fatiguing, this was the longest stretch of miles I had done at this fast pace and my body was getting wary. I stayed with Brad up until mile 22 and lost sight of him, never regaining my ground. The 4:25 pacer ran past and I was losing steam, at mile 23 I slowed to a walk and then it was a fight to do walk/run until I saw the 4:30 pacer pass me and I got to mile 25…I totally buckled down, was not going to stop running again until I crossed that finish line! It felt like an eternity and there was a sight incline uphill before that last turn when I saw the finish line and completely gave it everything I had, took in the energy from the crowd and the excitement of being a marathoner again completing such a monumental task was mine for the taking! I ignored the cameras just focused on the finish line and the clock—I knew it was going to be close, would I finish before 4:30? Well, I was close, my final time was 4:30:03. Wahoo! New Personal Record and I met my goal of finishing under 5hrs! 

After Race & Medal! I was definitely going to be sore, I knew it as soon as my body stopped moving. I was so hungry I ate so much: 2 chocolate milks, 2 waters, 2 bananas, hummus, carrots, apples & 1 granola bar. I sat down on curb, called my parents to find out where they were and they had not left their home yet to come downtown! My mom was surprised I finished already–they were just leaving. I was freezing and in the frenzy of the morning had left my gear check bag in their car. I was huddled under my mylar blanket and was wondering how I would stand up off the curb and even walk again. I could see a lull in the finisher photo opp line so I somehow righted myself and went over. I had to politely decline from taking a picture with the girl’s phone in front of me. I told her sorry, my hands were still full of 2 more waters and I was fighting to keep my blanket around my body and stay warm. I wandered to the after party area and was happy to find a massage tent which I walked into and got treated right away–they had a good system going, 2 therapists were working on 1 runner at a time. They had a whole routine for front and back and I was out of there in 15minutes. Realizing roads were still closed I wobbled over to the MGMGrand building and had my parents pick me up there. 

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Race Day Meal & Recovery, tired was an understatement. Dinner was at Red Robin, I had a big fat guacamole burger, yum! I wore my medal but didn’t get any recognition from our server and not one glance from anyone else in the restaurant but I was ok with that—the weight of the medal around my neck was a reminder of my hard work I put in over many months of training and having finished under my goal. I was definitely planning on wearing it on the train the next day home too! Post Race I did stretch and roll and although ice bath would’ve been nice I drew a hot epsom salt bath and soaked for a long time. I had also packed my Enduropacks amiono acid patches and Enduroglutamine that I used for several days post-race. After burgers my mom and I hit a food coma stage and sacked out for a television marathon session where we zoned out for hours. Next day I felt aches and pains in places I had not felt pain before and my legs were especially sore in my quads, not my hamstrings surprisingly. For the train ride home I purchased 2 large smart water bottles and wore my compression socks which really helped! Nonetheless, I was not able to run again until that following weekend, once I was able to have a rhythm and move I knew I was well into my recovery, but it was much slower than my last race but then again, the last race was 45 minutes SLOWER than Detroit and I had serious cramping issues that began at mile 16. Running faster was so worth the pain.

The Course and Recap: Detroit was an amazing experience, I highly recommend you consider running it! It was well organized, the volunteers were great and fuel stations were appropriately stocked and managed. It was a bit on the chilly side, although I did choose to wear shorts for this event it was borderline capri’s for me. The border patrol was a little intimidating, but friendly only shouting at the runners when they couldn’t see their bibs—I did not see one person stopped for ID or for them to check that they were carrying liquids across the border. Spectators were spaced out at times but all were enthusiastic and supportive and two times I was offered BEER by them, one house even had a keg out on the street pumping and handing out for free. Nothing will beat the beauty of the sunrise over the Ambassador Bridge, the sunlight reflecting off the buildings of Detroit and hustle through the tunnel. I may even consider running this race again just for those two experiences alone! For non-marathoners they did have a US -only Half Marathon and an International Half Marathon if you are not ready to run a full. So get your butt over to run the Motor City, you will not be disappointed! 


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