Our new home

moved

Dear readers,

I have officially packed up and moved to new digs.  Our new home is full of dynamic content, information, photos and of course, blog posts.  You can subscribe — and continue to receive the posts by email — here.

Thank you, thank you for all of your love shared here.  This is officially the last post on this domain.  www.HilaryPhelps.com is fully operational.

Fondly xx,

Hilary Phelps & Genuine Joy

 

And the winner is…

and the winner is...

I was blown away and humbled by the number and quality of the responses to the Third Annual 30 for 30.  There are a lot of people out there who stepped outside of their comfort zone, tried a new workout and/or set a routine for themselves over the last 30 days.  Thank you ALL for sharing your journeys and experiences with me!

The winner of the first giveaway is: Tiffany Pham.  Tiffany wrote a fabulous piece about conquering fear, stepping outside of her comfort zone and tackling a bucket list item of “learn to swim.”

Tiffany, congratulations! You embody Genuine Joy and I look forward to your many adventures to come.

Until Tomorrow…

Day 22 – Tough Mudder Challenge

The days left in April are quickly ticking away, with May knocking on our door, which means the countdown to the third annual 30 for 30 is coming to an end… I look forward to sharing some exciting news with you all tomorrow!

Last week was gym, yoga and a whole lot of walking on Sunday. Today was a double workout — 75-minutes of yoga this morning, followed by an hour of cardio this evening.  I don’t feel as if I’m getting the results that I want, so I changed it up.  That means three days this week — every day that I do yoga — I will do two workouts.  Workin’ it.

Yesterday, my sister Whitney competed in the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder competition.  For those of you unfamiliar with the race, it’s a 10-12 mile trail running course with 22 obstacles thrown in for good measure.  It’s called “Tough” for a reason, with everything from live electric wires to greased up monkey bars and a dumpster full of ice water (said to have used 3,ooo pounds of ice for the weekend activities).   Those challenges, added to the hills, mud, water and fire, and you have one seriously intense race.

bus ride

We set out early yesterday morning and headed for the mountains of West Virginia for an 11am start time. People were decked out in crazy costumes, including bright pink knee high socks and patterned duck tape wrapped around their shoes.  The knee high socks were to prevent rocks from lodging in their shoes during the race and the duck tape was to keep their shoes in place while running through several, deep mud puddles.

pre race

As spectators, we were able to watch approximately 10 obstacles, as many of them were scattered throughout the trail, that went far into the woods and away from the race’s starting point — we walked a total of 4 miles yesterday, which explains why my niece and nephew promptly fell asleep on the ride home.  While sprinting to the finish line to see Whitney cross, I had them both tucked under my arm charging for the top of the hill.  They were troopers and everyone today has sun kissed faces from a day spent outdoors.

We saw the pack of runners after they completed the first three obstacles and Whitney was the first woman to pass.

After the third obstacle

When we saw her at Obstacle 14, she was still in the lead.  As she ran past, she said “This is hard.”  And I believe her.  My sister isn’t one to complain or talk about the difficulty of a task — she’s a workhorse and an accomplished athlete.  For her to say it’s tough, I knew it was a serious challenge.

From obstacle 15, we had 1/2 mile to the finish line — two kids, two bags, one massive hill and everyone in rain boots (prepared for the mud, natch), we hustled to the finish area.  We made it there right as Whitney came through … AND she was the first woman (also, finished in the top 25 participants overall!) to cross in just under 2 hours. Incredible.

First woman

The race was a true testament to determination and grit.  Many were there to complete the course, but some were there to dominate the race.  Whitney dominated the Tough Mudder.  She works, rarely complains and finished the race with a huge smile.  I was proud to see her accomplish such an incredible feat.  A man standing at the finish line said “she’s my hero today” and I thought to myself “mister, you have no idea. She’s mine everyday.”

Until tomorrow…

Day 4: This is Your Life

this-is-your-life

How is everyone this morning? I woke up a little sore from yesterday’s workout, but I have to say, after even a few days, I’m feeling good and motivated to keep this workout train moving! I’m traveling next week, so I’ve scheduled out my workouts so that I can run while I’m out-of-town.  That’s the easiest way to workout when I’m on the road — pack the running shoes and set out around the city.  It also gives me a chance to do some “sightseeing” while getting a workout in at the same time (if you’re not a runner, walking works in this scenario as well.)

Yesterday’s HIIT was a tough one.  A warm-up, followed by box jumps, weights, jumping lunges and squats and then back to the elliptical for a 30-minute cardio session.  If you’re intimidated by HIIT or unsure where to start, the elliptical has a great option that gives you the high/low intensity.  The button at my gym is “weight loss” it might also say “fat burning” and you can select that when you first get on the machine.  It will automatically adjust the resistance and incline throughout the workout, changing the intensity and providing the high/low option to get your heart pounding and torching those calories.

Today’s workout is a run.  I registered for the Baltimore Half-Marathon this morning, so I’m pumped! I have a shorter race in July (more on that later), so it’s nice to have a few things on the calendar to push me.

Don’t forget to join the community at HilaryPhelps.com, under “Community Forum.”  This is a great place to chat with others who have joined in the 30 for 30, as well as post questions and comments on how your fitness regiment is coming along.

Click here to watch me sharing with the Washington, DC community my 30 for 30 Challenge last week.

 

Turn those Dreams into Action: Day 2 30 for 30

Turn dreams into Action

It was gorgeous here in Washington, DC yesterday — a high of 63 meant a run in knickers and a short sleeved T-shirt.  Lovely. Days like yesterday are perfect for a run, as there was a breeze, the sun was shining and there was a great energy in the air that happens when Spring rolls around.

The course consisted of rolling hills, along a trail, with my goal being to run the entire way.  During the winter, I do mostly gym workouts, as I am a wimp in the cold weather.  My sister amazes me because she will run in rain, sleet and snow and I applaud those of you in the Northeast, because I freeze when the temperature drops to 35! The few nice days that pop up throughout the winter (read 40+ degrees) I enjoy getting outside, but for the most part, it’s only been recently that I’ve reintroduced my body to running outside.

I felt great yesterday after the run and as I was making lunch, I remembered the peanut butter eggs that were given in an Easter basket.  I ate two. And then felt guilty.  I promptly took the rest of the candy and gave it to a women in our building.  I can’t have the temptation laying around.  I struggle with moderation at times, so during these 30 days, I want to also try to eat cleaner foods, which for me, means fruit as dessert and cutting back on the refined sugars.  Anyone else struggle with that? The peanut butter and chocolate gets me every time!

This morning it’s a 75-minute hot vinyasa flow class. Other than feeling great when I leave class, another benefit I enjoy from yoga is that once I’m finished, I want to refuel with healthy foods.  Yoga helps me to recognize what’s going on in my body, and I’m less likely to crave sugar and more likely to crave water and fresh veggies.

How was your first day? I received wonderful tweets and emails from people who are joining along — keep it up! We’re in this together!

Until tomorrow…

Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs

Unlike gummy bears and M&M’s, some candies, like conversation hearts, candy corn and Cadbury Creme eggs only make an appearance once a year.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the hearts or the corn, but the eggs… now those are another story. No one is ever “on the fence” about creme eggs — you either love ’em or hate ’em.  And if you’re a fan, then I have just the recipe for you, my friend!

Cadbury Creme Eggs aren’t the healthiest of treats, but with this simple recipe, I feel better about eating them once a year, am I’m able to control the ingredients and make them without preservatives.  The insides aren’t as gooey as the store bought eggs, but they are still rather tasty and have that same vanilla flavor.

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Downdog meets Down Stock: The Fall of the Lululemon Yoga Pants

Lululemon

Don’t let their name fool you… yoga pants are not just for yoga. From the grocery store to ladies lunches, Lululemon captured the hearts of women and took their yoga pants from gym wear to everyday wear.  But of late, the pants have come up short and disappointed customers who have found themselves overexposed when positioned in Downward-Facing Dog.  The pants are thinner, with less coverage.

By now, you’ve heard of the pants situation in which the Vancouver based company finds themselves.  Their popular Luon pant, available in stores March 1-8, were made with fabric that was thin and provided less coverage than other batches of the same pant.  Founded in 1998, these beloved pants have helped the company grow to a billion-dollar business making up approximately 17% of its women’s pant sales.  While the company has used the same manufacturer since 2004, the thinness of pant is blamed on a snag in the manufacturing process, quality control and vendor management, which is a tough pill to swallow for consumers that pay close to $100 a pair.

Their stock tumbled and the company could lose close to $60 million in sales, allowing companies such as Under Armour and Nike, Athleta and even Target to snag some of their market share.   Customers are shifting their loyalties to companies like Athleta, where it’s reported that one can exchange or return their purchases, no questions asked.  A far cry from the alleged tactics used by Lululemon, who were reported to “make customers try on the pants and bend over” before accepting them for return. (A representative for Lululemon denies this claim).

While the company does offer other products, such as tops and yoga mats, the pant is what launched the company into superstar status in the yoga community.  It’s rare to take a yoga class without noticing the presence of the Lulu logo on the majority of women (and some men) in class.  (Note: if you’re new to yoga, don’t let this intimidate you from trying a class or feel that it is a “requirement.”  There are many a student in Old Navy, Target, UA running gear and Adidas).

In full disclosure, I’ve been practicing yoga for 13 years and an instructor for 4 years, yet don’t own a single piece of Lululemon clothing, so I can’t talk to the fit or my personal experience with the company. I am, however, interested to see how this plays out for the competitors in the market and how (and if) Lululemon will regain customer satisfaction.

What are your thoughts on the brand and the situation?

JCP Shops

If you watched the Oscars last weekend, you noticed the plethora of JCP advertisements (shortened from J.C. Penney).  The company once known for selling washing machines and reasonably priced fashions, is rising to the challenge that many of their competitors have faced in the past — losing customers and the quest to bring them back.

Duro lounge

In March, the retailer will open 100 boutique-like shops in an effort to reinvent its stores and shopping experience.  Walking in the doors now, one will find designers such as Nanette Lepore, Levi’s, Liz Claborne and Izod; Mid-March Joe Fresh will drop anchor.  Later in the year, Martha Stewart (outcome dependent on their on-going court battle with Macy’s), Jonathan Adler, Michael Graves (formerly at Target), Carter’s, Cosmopolitan intimate apparel and Giggle baby will open in-store.

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