Go Get Your GOALS On!

Koss content featured in this post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC. I received product and upon campaign completion, will receive compensation, however all opinions are my own.

GOALSAt the beginning of every new year, we are faced with a few decisions: will we make resolutions? If so, will we commit to them? Hmm…probably not.

But, I have good news! There’s a better way to make positive change in our lives, and it can be as simple as setting a goal.

You see, a resolution, like “I’ll start eating healthier” or “I’ll join a gym” kind of dooms us from the beginning because it’s so vague. Personally, it helps me to visualize an actual desired outcome, then take the steps needed to achieve it.

Here’s an example:

  • RESOLUTION: I resolve to run more.
  • GOAL: I will complete the Manasota Track Club 50K on February 8th, 2014.

See? Adding specifics to a desired outcome, with very intentional details, such as time-sensitivity, a non-flexibile event, and intention can drastically change the way you look at something you wish to achieve. Armed with that attitude, it makes it that much easier to then chart out how you’re going to proceed.

For me, completing the Manasota Track Club 50K, my first “ultra” marathon is something that both intimidates and excites me. The first step to making my dream a reality was committing my mind with positive speak (“You can do this!”) then getting my body in line, too (by drafting a training plan). After that, it was time to make the commitment of registering, and then, probably most importantly, starting the training.

Since I ran a higher mileage marathon training plan for my last 26.2 race, I decided that I’d just modify that training, as well as include some off-road running (I am fortunate enough to be able to run on the trail where the race will be held) and so far, that’s being going well! My transition from road to trail running has been pretty smooth, but I am extremely thankful for some new fitness gear in my life that has helped me on my goal-getting mission!

(1) Koss Flex Fit headphones

Marketed as “the perfect gift for active women,” I could not agree more! Ever since my debacle at Space Coast Marathon when my earbud cover slipped off somewhere around Mile 22, I’ve been looking for a good replacement and so I am glad I was patient.

As part of the Fitfluential campaign, I received two pair of these new Koss Fit Series headphones – Fitbuds and FitClips. After a few runs with both, I have been impressed by the sound quality, even at low volume (which I always run at when listening to audio) as well as their multi-use as “work” headphones while completing tasks on the computer. Both models are sweat-resistant, include three sizes of ear cushions for the perfect fit and are super lightweight, a direct result of consultation and feedback from Olympian Dara Torres.

The FitClips have become my training partner for many a training run – for a few reasons: as I run toward the trail, on pavement, I listen to podcasts or the radio on my iPod nano; and once I reach the dirt trail, I can switch off my music, leave the clips on instead of folding/stowing them, and not even notice them.

As previously mentioned, I love the FitBuds for working – they’re 33 percent lighter than any buds Koss has ever created! Since I’m often blogging on the go, I team them up with the Pandora “Film Scores” channel and become instantly transported to distraction-free zone without fear of discomfort.

Both models are available at national retailers, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kmart, Sears and are priced at $29.99. To learn more about Koss and its Fit Series product line, check them out on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

(2) Nathan Intensity Race Vest

When I ran my first half marathon, I broke a lot of rules – I wore a new shirt, bought and used new gear (a cheap Camelbak) and took a nap afterward. Although the race was still successful, I winded up with a chafed back and sore legs as a result. Oops! I swore off carrying my water in fear of that result for almost two years!

Times have changed, and so have my opinions and experience with hydration packs, thanks to Nathan. With my “Intensity” race vest (also a “female-friendly” design) I can carry the essentials, like tisues, chapstick and snacks along with a steady source of water as I hit the trails. With road-running, I was always able to plan my jaunts around water fountains – but it’s not as easy with trails, so this definitely comes in handy!

The unique design of the Nathan Intensity race vest eliminates skin contact (no chafing!) and carries up to 2L of water – definitely handy for hot and humid runs in Florida! As a VIP, I purchased mine at Roadrunner Sports, but you can use Nathan’s retailer locator to help you find one. To learn more about Nathan, check them out on Facebooktwitter and YouTube.

(3) Brooks Cascadia 8 Trail Shoes

While I train in a variety of shoes, the majority of my pairs are Brooks, including the Pure Project series (Pure Flow and Pure Connect) as well as the Ghosts, and now, the Brooks Cascadia 8’s.

I have to admit, I am a total trail newbie, and when I first registered for the 50K, I was under the impression that I wouldn’t need to buy another pair of shoes – after all, the trail itself was not very technical, and after all, to access the trail, I’d be running their on the road, so why worry about carrying a second pair to run in? Well, let me tell you – that didn’t work out so well! I hit the trails with my Ghosts, and I was slip sliding all over the place – even in the dry dirt (the trail is like packed sand).

Once I realized it was in my best interest to purchase a new pair of shoes, I took to twitter to ask my running pals what they’d recommend for me. As a neutral runner, I was considering either the Pure Grit or the Cascadias. After I read a number of reviews, and took into account several comparisons, I opted to go with the Cascadia 8 because of the lower heel back (not-so-technical term), potential longer life (Pure series often wear out quickly for me) and the more traditional lace-style. Another bonus? I can wear the Cascadia to the trail, then transition right into the trail without a second thought. Their sturdier build keeps me anchored on the trail, without adding bulk when laying down mileage.

I purchased my pair (pink and black, of course) from Roadrunner Sports but you can find Brooks locally with their store locator. To learn more about Brooks, check them out on Facebook and twitter.

Although it’s not always imperative to purchase new items in a quest for a fitness goal, sometimes it does give you that extra boost out the door. I know in my head, I’ll hear a voice saying, “hey, what did you buy that thing for anyway?” Or maybe that’s just my husband saying that to me 😉

Share your 2014 goals! Do you recommend any special fit gear that has helped you on your goal-getting mission?

Again, thank you to Fitfluential and Koss for providing product for me to review. All other items mentioned in this list were purchased on my own.

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