Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Break Training

April 28 - Today I completed my last longish run before the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon next weekend in Providence, Rhode Island. I've been on Spring Break this week, and even though I didn't find myself flying off across the pond to Paris or Austria, or even taking a more local vacay to sunny Florida, I did have a good week of running.

After more time spent dwelling on my calf tightness issue, a trip to the doctor, and a wasted session with the PT, I am still in the dark as to what is going on. Despite the discomfort and sometimes tenderness, I managed to get in three solid runs. Tuesday I ran 6 miles with hubs. He rode his bike for 1.5, ran for 3, then back on the bike for 1.5. Thursday I ran 6 again with hubs on the bike body-guarding me the whole way. Today I ran 8 miles. I ran the first 4 by myself, but on my way past the house I grabbed the dog for the final 4 miles. He's still a pretty awesome running partner for a nine year old pup!

Now my focus turns to the week ahead and the plans for the weekend. My running this week will be easier as I continue to taper in preparation for 13.1 on Sunday. I'm looking forward to getting to Providence on Saturday afternoon, exploring the Health & Wellness Expo at the Rhode Island Convention Center, (hopefully) watching the start of the 5K at Roger Williams Park, and meeting the other Rhode Scholars for dinner. After a night at the host hotel, the Renaissance Providence Downtown, I'll be trying to connect with Samantha at the starting line for my 4th half marathon. After the race, I'll be going out to eat with my cheering section - hubs and my PC stepdaughter before depositing her back on campus.

What have you been Spring training for lately?

How did you spend your Spring Break?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Zensah-tional Socks!

April 21 - Today for my half marathon training run, I decided to try out a pair of athletic compression socks that Corey over at Zensah sent me. If you've been reading my blog or following me on Daily Mile, you know that I have been struggling with some calf tightness and have been looking for a magical instant cure. I didn't find that, but keep reading.

I like compression socks because they help reduce recovery time, increase blood flow, and lessen post workout soreness. I also like the squeeze you get from a good pair. It's like a little hug for your calves.

The first thing I noticed about the Zensah compression socks was that they looked good. No one wants to feel like a walking-medical-advertisement. Next I was impressed by the sock's thickness. The material felt a little heavier than other pairs I've tried, but it was super soft. Then I spotted the padding from the toes to the heels. It looked like a little extra support was built right into the socks. I'm also a fan of socks that designate left and right.

I'm happy with the performance of these socks. It was a little warm this morning, but despite the thick material, my legs did not get hot during my seven mile run. My feet were nice and comfortable in my running shoes, unlike times when the extra padding crowds my feet.

Now even though I still felt some tightness in my calf during the run (no magical-instant cure), my post-run massage time was more productive. I even zeroed in on a firm knot that I was able to work on. I don't know what role the socks might have played in my painful-trigger point therapy, but I'm not one to question successful progress!

I like these socks. They look good and they feel good. In fact they were so comfortable that I kept them on for most of the day and even wore them during a two and a half mile trail walk with hubs and the dog.

Which do you prefer, compression socks or sleeves?
I used to prefer sleeves, but I'm liking socks more lately.

What was your happy moment today?
Mine was holding hands with hubs during our walk =)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product to review without compensation. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, April 16, 2012

It Was A Marathon Weekend

April 16 - Good luck to everyone running in the Boston Marathon today! You rock!

The weekend was a whirlwind of running events. On Friday my Crazy Running Partner and I headed to Boston for a running girls night out.

Our first stop was the 2012 Boston Marathon Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center. CRP has finished the Boston Marathon twice and she thought I needed to see this expo. Huge. Loved it. Wish we had more time to hang out.

Cute display, but we kept moving (can't afford to stop there!)

My favorite marathon shirt

Great colors on the running shoes

So many Sweaty Bands!

Thought they had too many, so I took two!

Chatted with the girls at the RNR PROV booth

Then we headed over to Saucony's Evening of Running Inspiration Party at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. The event included keynote speakers sharing their stories of running and life followed by a reception highlighting the new Kinvara 3.

A special tribute to Caballo Blanco (Micah True) the Mythic Hero of Born To Run by Luis Escobar, friend and Ultramarathoner

2012 NFL Superbowl Champion for the New York Giants; Boston College All-American; Cancer Survivor, Mark Herzlich

3X World Triathlon Champion; Ironman Kona Champion, Karen Smyers

4X Winner Boston and NYC Marathons, Bill Rodgers

Q & A with the audience 
(hey Dorothy Beal from Mile Posts - love your #strong)

Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages! 

Mark Herzlich tells us to #FindYourStrong

(We met up with FitFluential Ambassadors: Samantha, Nancy, and Dani
- too dark to take pics with my phone, but you should check out their blogs!)

After the Saucony Party we had a late dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery in the Theater District.

Saturday afternoon hubs and I dusted off the bikes and took our first ride of the warm season; a three mile bike ride to one of our favorite running spots, Scobie Pond (aka Haunted Lake). 

Sunday afternoon we ran a 10K at the 19th Annual Walk & Run for Food & Shelter in Nashua, NH. This was my running goal race for the month of April and my last race until the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon on May 6.

There was a really good turn out for this race. They offered a 3K walk, 5K and 10K runs. I'm guessing there were over 500 participants in all of the events.

I registered for the 10K. Hubs came along and ran bandit!

We had plenty of time before the race to do the usual stuff...stretch

People watch

Chat with other runners and then ask them to take our picture

The course consisted of two different loops. The first loop was nice and easy, rolling hills and a good breeze. I ran this part with hubs. The 5K and 10K split near the finish line and this is where hubs and I also split. The second loop was much hillier and hotter because the breeze pretty much disappeared. The last half mile was a steady uphill to the finish line. Hate that. My finish time was 1:02:51.

Hubs unofficially finished in 1:14:08

After grabbing as much water and Gatorade as we could carry, we made our way to the food tent. They had apples/bananas, hummus & chips, chocolate chip cookies, and assorted sandwiches. An excellent post-race selection.

It was a beautiful day for a race in NH. Hubs and I had a great time!

Today I will be following the 116th Boston Marathon and cheering for my fellow runners.

Have you ever participated in the Boston Marathon?
Runner, spectator, volunteer?

Last year I spectated from the start line in Hopkinton, MA

Next year I'd like to run the B.A.A 5K

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Running BFFs

April 1 - Today I want to tell you about some of my favorite running gear. Gear that has been helping me get ready for my next half marathon.

#1- I never run without my Nike GPS Sport Watch. GPS changed my running world. With the push of a button, I start my run and the satellites track my route. When I'm done, I can upload my data and view my route. It's that easy. And, I don't have to spend hours trying to map it myself.

#2 - I simply love my Simple Hydration Water Bottle. Fill it up, stick it in, and go. When I need a sip, all I have to do is reach back and grab it. It stays put no matter what type of bottoms I'm wearing and sometimes it feels like it isn't there at all. I love this bottle because it is completely hands-free. It is perfect for my half marathon training runs.

#3 - My favorite source of fuel at the moment is Sport Beans. I already love jelly beans and Sport Beans taste just like jelly beans to me. Before a long run I fill my pocket with beans making it easy to grab some when I'm running. They are super easy to chew and swallow, so I don't need water to eat them. There's nothing better than munching on something that tastes like candy.

#4 - I am falling in love with my new made-just-for-me orthotics (and maybe Mr. Chiropractor for recommending that I get them). These babies have helped alleviate my calf tightness and put an end to my knee-knocking. They are easy to insert and remove, so I can wear them in all of my running shoes! Maybe I can even get more running shoes? Hmmm...

What is your favorite (can't live without) running gear?

**The winner of the CLICK-Start Pack is Amanda from RunToTheFinish!
Congratulations Amanda. I hope you find CLICK as yummy as I do.
Please email me at within 48 hours
with your mailing address so I can get your prize shipped to you right away!**

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”