Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fitness Friendly Girls' Weekend in West Virginia

I had my first visit to West Virginia when I went to see my good friend for some much over-due girl time. I arrived on Friday afternoon and we kicked off our weekend with some manis and pedis. Since the weekend would be full of new adventures, we fueled up with some gluten-free pizza and vino!

On Saturday we drove to Blackwater Falls State Park. The park offers lots of hiking trails and scenic overlooks. We decided to do the Lindy Point Trail. It was a beautiful trail with rhododendrons flanking both sides.

Just before leaving for WV, the FlipBelt I won from Fairytales and Fitness arrived. It was perfect for storing my phone during the hike. My friend liked it so much she ordered one for herself and her mom!

The overlook -

215 steps down to view the Blackwater Falls.

On Sunday we drove to West Virginia University's Outdoor Education Center in Morgantown for some zip lining. After a brief summary of the course and filling out paperwork, the instructors got us into our harnesses and took us through a mini-lesson on the how-tos of zip lining.

For the next two hours, we zipped...

walked across a sky bridge...

and rappelled.

Zip lining is a total body workout. Between hanging on to the bars (arms) and holding up your legs (core) and hiking (legs), we were worn out…but still smiling!

Have you been on any outdoor adventures lately?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Training Truths: ZOOMA Cape Cod Week 2 + #KeepItTight

My goal for week two of my ZOOMA Cape Cod half marathon training was to get in my mileage before heading to West Virginia on Friday for a weekend visit with one of my best gal pals. It wasn't easy to squeeze everything I wanted to do in around the other things I had to do, but I did it. Looking at the vision board I made as part of the 30 Day Fitness Challenge (details here) gave me inspiration.

As the weeks start to pass and mileage continues to increase, I'll be making recovery part of my daily routine. One easy way to do that is wearing the compression sleeves I received from Pro Compression to try out as part of a Sweat Pink Ambassador campaign.

Day 7 Challenge: Make a Vision Board

3 mile run after church and grocery shopping. It was humid, my legs felt heavy, and my sports bra felt too tight! Not a great start to week 2 training. Day 7 fitness challenge (323 calories)

5 mile run and I was out the door before 6:20 AM…the earliest I've ever gotten out the door on my own. Worth it. Much better run than Sunday. Day 8 fitness challenge followed by a little recovery in my compression sleeves (check them out here) (538 calories)

Ready for my next workout!

Afternoon SurfSet class with oldestC…it was a #sweatfest! But awesome, of course! I'm pretty sure that I recruited another urban surfer (421 calories)

Officially my rest day for the week, but I did Day 9 fitness challenge, and walked on the treadmill for 3 miles while using my treadmill desk to do some homework at the same time! (191 calories)

5K run to the beach and back as part of my training and a virtual 5K a friend was hosting as part of a fundraiser. Humidity was higher plus the hills on the route had me worried, but then I ended up with negative splits! Day 10 fitness challenge (338 calories)

SurfnTurf class. I'm beginning to like this class more and more. The half surf, half bootcamp style is a fun way to mix up my cross training (414 calories)

A night of storms that ended with the power going out at 330 AM did not alleviate the humidity for my 6 AM out-and-back run. At least not as much as I thought it would. It was a struggle all the way back to the driveway, but nothing a little recovery on the couch with a good book couldn't take care of. Day 11 fitness challenge (680 calories)

No more sore muscles!

Total calories burned this week: 2905 

What I like about Pro Compression:
  • Made in the USA!
  • Calf sleeves support important muscles but I can also wear my favorite flip flops :)
  • The material is thinner and offers moisture control
  • They make calf sleeves and socks
  • SOCK OF THE MONTH offered at a discount
  • True Graduated Compression technology (graduated compression decreases from the bottom to top, with a pressure profile that must be 100% at the ankle (b), 70% at the calf (c) and 40% at the thigh (g). This helps promote blood flow from the lower extremities back to the heart)

If you're looking for no hassle compression sleeves or have been wanting to try them, use code PINK to get 40% off your entire purchase at Pro Compression.

Use my ZOOMA Discount Code for 10% off registration:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mizuno Wave Paradox Review

A support shoe that is also light weight? That is exactly what Mizuno created and aptly named the Wave Paradox released in January of this year.

A month ago I received a pair of the Wave Paradox from Mizuno to try out. The Wave Paradox is a new shoe in the Mizuno support lineup. At first glance they look like they might be heavy. They are not.

I was intrigued by how a shoe could look so meaty yet be so lightweight, so I did some research. According to Mizuno, they applied lightweight construction to everything they knew about control to create this 8.6 oz support shoe.

Most of the support comes from the double fan wave of the heel. If you're not familiar with Mizuno's wave technology, it works like your car's suspension - absorbing the force and spreading it out when your feet hit the ground.

The wider heel and forefoot gauges also offer stability, although that big gap just eats up rocks. Since I live in the land of no sidewalks, my Wave Paradox gobble up stones like the Cookie Monster.

The upper is inspired by a Japanese doodling technique and looks like curved lines, but up close you can see that the lines are actually straight.

While I'm on the topic of appearance, when it comes to color combinations, Mizuno nailed it. Not only do the colors look good, but the their representation of energy (orange) and stability (blue) reinforces the whole idea of paradox.

This shoe is very different than the neutral Wave Rider 17 that I was wearing previously.

Over the years, I have been able to alternate between support and neutral Mizuno shoes pretty easily (although it is not really recommended). Even when I reached out to Mizuno, they said,

Since it works for me, I'll be keeping the Wave Paradox in my shoe rotation.

What type of shoe do you usually wear?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Adult Running Camps

I read an article in the August issue of Women's Running Magazine about adult running camps.

I am by no means a camper. I do not like bugs or sleeping outside.  I am a runner who likes to travel, go on adventures, and try new things. These camps are for people like me. More like retreats with a bunch of running activities.

The article showcases a few camps and I was excited to see one located in Vermont. So I looked up the Lake Champlain Women's Running Camp  and here's what I found out:

  • This camp is for women only
  • Located at the 700 acre Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, VT
  • Open to all training levels
  • Expert staff
  • Daily workshops
  • Activities offered: yoga, swimming, kayaking, hiking
  • 5 day overnight package $975-1600 (depends on room size)
  • 3 day participant (no overnight) $525
  • Packages are all-inclusive: lodging, meals, workshops, shirt, and notebook
  • Not sure of the 2014 dates??

A quick Twitter chat on the subject and another runner notified me of the Craftsbury Running Camps also in Vermont. Here are the details for this one:

  • Open to women and men
  • Located at the 400 acre Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury Common, VT
  • Camps for varying interests/levels
  • Professional coaches
  • Varying lengths including a weekend option
  • Optional field trips around Northeast Vermont
  • Elective activities include: yoga, swim, bike rides, seminars
  • 6/7 day overnight packages $1030-$1309
  • 3 day weekend package $383
  • Packages are all-inclusive: room, meals, coaching, facilities use, trips.
  • Dates ranging from June-September

At first look these camps seem expensive, but when you take into account what's included (board, meals, coached running, extra activities), it's approximately the same price as your average vacation.

I'm putting the weekend Foliage & Running Camp at Craftsbury on my bucket-list.

Would you ever attend a running camp?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Training Truths: ZOOMA Cape Cod Training Kick-Off

A few weeks later than I probably should have,  I officially started training for the ZOOMA half marathon in September. I'm using my Nike running app Coach option for my training plan. Since I haven't been racking up the miles lately I chose the beginner plan. Week 1 was manageable and I used the 13 miles as my Summer Run Challenge goal.

5 mile run in very soupy conditions. This run was tough and it felt pretty awful the whole time, but then the numbers weren't that bad. (559 calories)

A sweaty mid-morning session of SurfSet. Ladders on the floor are a red-flag for intense exercises ahead. (446 calories)

Good thing I did my cross-training on Monday, because I followed that with an afternoon trip to the doctor where I received another cortisone shot for the torn meniscus and it came with two days rest.  I walked 30 minutes on the treadmill and did the 30-day challenge daily exercises.

I bumped up my runs because we had to head out of town for a funeral on Thursday. Instead of resting another day, I did my 3 miles. It was pouring rain and a day early following my cortisone shot, so I stayed inside on the treadmill. I warmed up with 2 rounds of the day 3 exercises and was excited to see how many fat calories I burned with that quick little workout. (33 + 268 = 301 calories)

5 mile training run before 630 AM! It was a comfortably cool run and I focused on taking it slow and easy to try to get in the habit of LSD (long slow distance) runs. (523 calories)

Finally made it back to Booty Barre. I wish I could take this class more often because I think it would be really good for my hips. (394 calories)

Rest day

A fun morning workout at SurfSet with mrC! Back home I caught up on the daily exercises for the 30 day challenge - but did not wear my HRM this time. (444 calories)

Total calories burned this week: 2223

My ZOOMA Cape Cod half marathon training kick-off week was a success. Week 2 starts today and I am really hoping to stay on track with my mileage.

Use my ZOOMA Discount Code for 10% off registration:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Workout Wednesday: 30 Day Challenge

Even though I returned from vacation and resumed my running and cross-training activities, my angry knee needed some attention. A trip to my doctor on Monday resulted in another cortisone shot and two days of rest.

Needless to say I was super excited to see a 30 day challenge invite from Sarah, one of the co-owners of TI Fitness where I go for SurfSet, and it started on Monday.

I really like challenges that use a progression approach to the same set of exercises. This way I can feel and see my improvements through the 30 days.

These are also relatively low impact exercises, although I had to modify the lunges to be paper plate  sliders to let the cortisone do its thing in my knee.

The other great thing about this challenge is that you start it at any time! If you are looking for some online support, Sarah has created a Facebook challenge group here. In addition to posting reminders and motivation, she is sharing daily challenges that focus on diet, fitness, or mental health. The challenge is open to everyone, just request to join the group!

What workouts are you loving right now?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Training Truths: Vacation Benefits for an Injured Runner

Before going on vacation at the beginning of the month, my torn meniscus was feeling yucky again, so I booked a doctor's appointment for today to see what my best options are at this point.

Being in steamy hot Texas and busy with family and friends in Ohio forced me to take more rest days than I probably would have, but it did a world of good. My normal reaction to an extended amount of non-running is PANIC! I hate missing workouts, even when I'm hurting. Anyway, while my knee is being a little cranky, I have been able to workout. My Summer Run Challenge goal was 6 miles, and I ran 7 miles!

Tuesday: 2 mile run in Cincinnati. After my last run left my knee feeling painful and swollen, it was a relief to go pain-free on this little run. (236 calories)

Friday: 5 mile group run. It was my first time meeting up with some ladies from Greater Manchester MRTT. We met at Brown-Mitchell Park in Manchester and then ran up and down, up and down, up and down…hills. The miles and the hills flew by thanks to the conversation and the weather was perfect. (610 calories)

Saturday: I was so happy to be back at SurfSet and Ashley led us through a super fast paced workout. The only part of the workout that bothered my knee a little was the mountain climbers.  (446 calories)

Total calories burned during workouts this week: 1292

How do you react to unexpected rest days?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Training Truths: Multi-city Workouts

Before leaving for a multi-stop 9 day trip last Wednesday, I tried to get in as many workouts as I could. My knee wasn't too happy about that and I left NH without doing my last run. Our first stop in steamy Texas for middleCs BMT graduation was way too hot to run, not that my knee was ready anyway. After a couple of rest days and swimming, I went for a short run during our visit in Ohio.

Monday - 5 mile run with mrC to kickoff the Summer Run Challenge and then SurfSet class. (548 + 355 = 903 calories burned)

Tuesday - SurfnTurf at 6 AM!!! (because I had to watch the US World Cup game at 4 and the other class is at 430) and 2 mile run downtown. Two workouts before 7:30 AM!! (369 + 232 = 601)

Tuesday - After a week of no running, I enjoyed a cool, but humid, 2 mile run at my mom's favorite park. She walked the dog while we ran. I'm happy to say that my knee did ok during and after this run. (236 calories burned)

Hopefully the extra rest days are just what my knee needed and I can get back to training for ZOOMA Cape Cod in September.