Showing posts with label Zensah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zensah. Show all posts

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fitness Friday: Five Recovery Tips

Anyone who engages in fitness has experienced the post workout soreness at some point. Pushing muscles beyond their normal threshold causes small muscle tears. Until our muscles adapt to the new type or level of workout, they will continue to need time to recover.

Here are some tips I have learned to help speed up the recovery process:

1. Compression gear - Invest in some good compression gear such as socks, sleeves, and shorts and put it on as soon as you finish an intense workout. The basic principle behind wearing compression gear is that it allows better blood flow to the muscles thereby helping to decrease muscle soreness.

Aspaeris, Zensah, Pro Compression, Feetures, Nike

2. Foam Roll/Stretch - Avoid letting muscles stiffen up by stretching or foam rolling after exercise when the muscles are still warm. Again this will help increase the blood flow and help get rid of any lactic acid build up which could contribute to muscle soreness.

3. Rest - After strenuous exercise your body will need, and deserve, a break. Muscles need time to repair and rebuild. It's good to schedule some down time. Most training schedules include a rest day for this reason.

4. Active Recovery - While giving your body some rest is important, it is also a good idea to keep moving. Take a walk, go for a casual bike ride, swim a little. Light activities that allow your muscles to move will help prevent tightness from setting in which can lead to increased muscle soreness.

5. Replenish - Drink plenty of water to rehydrate and eat protein and carbs to aid muscle recovery and replace nutrients lost during workouts. Not only will this replenish your body, but it will also help keep your muscles at peak performance for your next workout.

What is your favorite recovery technique?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Manchester City Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran the Manchester City Half Marathon. According to the local news, this year's race started with a record 2500 runners including some 600 displaced NYC Marathon runners! It was a beautiful day for a race with temperatures in the low 40s, bright sunny skies, and cool breezes.

After getting an extra hour of sleep, my favorite cheerleader (aka husband) drove me downtown to meet up with the girls. I found Daisy easily (thanks to her "prime parking spot" in a no parking area next to Veteran's Park, but Katherine was off getting a replacement bib for the one she left at home. We did manage to all meet up at the starting line.

You may remember from my previous blog posts or my comments on Daily Mile how this course had some serious hills. The first hill starts around mile 1 and continues until mile 2.5. There's a brief breather before the next climb at mile 3.5 which lasts through mile 5. Here runners are rewarded with a long downhill into Livingston Park before hitting the next group of climbs. At mile 6 the rolling begins (and seems to never end) and goes on and on through mile 10. Just when you think you might be able to cruise to the finish thanks to gravity and Hanover Street, runners hit a final tough climb between mile 11 and 12. For those runners with feeling left in their legs (not me) the final mile is a fast downhill that flattens out to the finish line.

13.1 - 2:08:24  
Clearly, I was dead tired. I didn't hear them announce me as Amy from Jamaica Plain and then correct it. I barely cracked a smile when Katherine and Ami cheered for me as I passed by. I didn't even have the energy to grab one of those awesome mylar heat sheets they were offering.

I did have enough spark to hang out with the girls and our families while savoring the moment. I took on a challenge running this half marathon with its monster hills that scare some runners away and I completed it. #7 done.

What I wore:

Let's Go Clown Around Sweaty Bands
Grey Nike Legend Training Tank
Red Nike Thermal Pullover
Black Nike Running Capris
Nike Dri-Fit No Show Compression Socks
Mizuno Wave Rider 8s
Red Aspaeris Compression Shorts (after)
Pink Zensah Compression Socks (after)

What's the toughest race you've ever done?

Have you entered my Sprigs Big Banjees giveaway yet? It ends Friday at 11:59 PM! Or start shopping now and use my discount code RunningEscapades20 for 10% off of orders up to $29.99 or 20% off orders over $30. It expires 11/30/12 at 11:59 PM EST.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fitness Friday: Reach the Beach Recap

Reach the Beach weekend finally arrived and thanks to my running partner I was invited to be a member of Team One Track Minded this year. This was definitely one of the craziest running adventures I have done yet.

Thursday: We drove to Lincoln, NH after work to stay with the team in a teammates' condo and get organized for the Friday start. Team members who arrived earlier in the day prepared a dinner feast of chicken and pasta for all of us to enjoy. Somehow we managed to find places for 12 people to sleep in a 3BR condo!

Friday: The whole team went to the start line at Cannon Mountain to send off Shana, runner #1 from Van #1, at 7:30am. It was nice to be there for the opening festivities and know that we would reach the beach early enough to enjoy the post race fun. 

After some shopping for some RTB merchandise, we went back to the condo to decorate Van #2, eat breakfast, clean up, load up, and head out to the first Vehicle Transition Area where our legs would begin.

On the way we stopped to grab some lunch at White Mountain Bagel Co. 

We arrived at Attitash Ski Area in Bartlett with plenty of time to spare and meet up with team members in Van #1. This was my first chance to see the transition areas in action. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of vans and runners, the process is pretty smooth and simple. Runners enter the transition chute and hand off the relay bracelet to the runners waiting while non-running team members stand off to the side and cheer. 

My first leg started around 1pm when runner #6, Joe, came into the chute and handed me the relay bracelet all curled up (so cute). It was seriously HOT and I guess I was excited because I went out on this 7.31 leg fast and ended up struggling the last couple of miles. I was lucky enough to be able to cool off at Echo Lake in North Conway afterward. It was gorgeous and felt amazing.

My running partner cooled off after her run in the piles of snow left by the zambonies at the HAM Ice Arena in Conway.

After all our runners completed their first leg (and Van #1 finally arrived, ugh), we had dinner at Kenneth Brett School (one of many fundraisers held at the transition areas along the relay) in Tamworth and then headed to the home of one teammate's in-laws' in Laconia to get some rest before our night legs began. Luckily her in-laws lived about 15 minutes from the start of the next legs.

Saturday: After about 3.5 hours of sleep, we were up and ready for the next leg of night running. I started us off with my 4.5 mile leg at 1am from the NH Technical College in Laconia. Before this run, I had only run once at night and never in the middle of the night, but I was surprisingly calm. It was incredibly muggy and humid, and I was thankful that I changed into shorts from capris at the last minute. This time I stayed with a couple of other runners for about two miles and used my playlist from Rock My Run to pace myself after passing them. This run went much better than the first. The only scary moment was when one of my flashing lights came off, but the girl running behind me spotted it upside down in the grass.

Somehow we survived all six legs without losing anyone despite going to the wrong transition area, driving right past one runner, and having two runners with stomach issues during their runs. As horrible as all this sounds, running at night was not bad at all! We drove straight to the next vehicle transition area at Sanborn Regional High School so that everyone could get some more rest before starting the last leg. I fell asleep in the van on the way there and took another nap in the back seat while others headed outside to sleep. Thankfully I put on my Zensah compression socks right after my run.

Rain had passed through earlier in the morning, but by our start time the skies had turned sunny and blue. I started off the final legs for Van #2 around noon with a short 2.4 miles to Kingston. It was warm and I went out faster than I planned, but was able to pull it off this time without burning out because it was short.

The final legs went by so quickly. Before I knew it we had left our last runner and were driving to the finish line at Hampton Beach! Oh yea, anticlimactic moment...Van #2 didn't get to run across the finish line with the team because we were stuck in traffic. So the scorecard will have to suffice. 

Team One Track Minded. Twelve runners. 9 veterans. 3 "Virgins". Official finish time: 32:20:38.

RTB was an incredible experience. My teammates in Van #2 were so supportive, hilariously funny, and running-junkies like myself. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to run with these amazing people. 

So today I am off to my next running adventure: the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon. I am really looking forward to all the amazing events and hanging out on the beach. I'll be back with a recap soon, but you can follow the #ZOOMA fun on Twitter.

Have you entered my Mizuno Giveaway? Today is the last day to enter. I'll post the winners on Monday. Good luck!

Have you ever done a relay? What did you think?
I'm ready to do it again ;)

Monday, September 17, 2012

#TrainingTruths: RTB Lessons + GIVEAWAY

Last week was busy leading up to the Reach the Beach Relay. With my new running schedule, I was able to get in one last run before hopping into the van and heading up to Cannon Mountain where all the relay running brilliance began. A full RTB Relay recap is in the works, but today is all about my RTB lessons! 

#TrainingTruth: You can't fully pack for RTB until the last run is done.

#TrainingTruth: Starting out too fast leads to a fizzle in the end.

#TrainingTruth: Pacing can be found in other runners, music, and yourself.

#TrainingTruth: It's ok to be passed by 6 other runners, if you're still running.

As you can see, I never go for a run without my Mizunos. They are one of my running must haves. And you may remember from this post all the reasons why they are my go-to running shoe. 

There is no better feeling than not having to think about what you are going to put on your feet. Whether you run on the road, the treadmill, or the trail, Mizuno wants you to become the best runner you can be and experience the brilliance of a Mizuno run. 

Lucky for you, they have asked me to give away 10 Mezamashii Run Project  invitations!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 3, 2012

TrainingTruths: Workouts & August Review

The last week of August was focused on getting ready for my first Reach The Beach Relay and enjoying the last of my weekday morning runs since school is starting this week. Although I am regretfully saying good-bye to summer, I am excited about the new running adventures I have coming up this month.

#TrainingTruth: Sometimes poor fueling and pushing too hard on a run catch up to me on a humid day.

#TrainingTruth: My RTB Cyclops head lamp made my first night run a success.

#TrainingTruth: My legs do not like running on loose gravel roads, but they love Zensah compression socks. 

#TrainingTruth: Running with a BPM playlist from Rock My Run helped me maintain my pace on a solo run.

2012 Goal Maintenance - August review: 

1. Keep running

2. Run a race a month

3. Continue to improve the blog 

4. Add another New England state to the list of places I have run 

5. Keep meeting new running friends

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to assess ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Don't forget to enter my MUST HAVEs GIVEAWAY. Today is the last day. 
Winners will be selected randomly tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#TrainingTruths: Workouts & Cream Cheese Pastry

It is hard to maintain a regular schedule during the summer. Every day is different. Sometimes we are traveling. For the most part I have been able to maintain my training for the half marathon coming up in a couple of weeks, but my diet has been all over the place. 


#TrainingTruth: Compression gear is a life saver.

As I have upped my mileage on the long runs, my legs have been feeling the effects. Tight hips and glutes, sore calf muscles, and achey shins. Following my long runs, I have been sporting compression socks and compression shorts. These things really do work. I use Zensah socks most of the time, but I also have CEP and Feetures. My compression shorts are from Aspaeris and although they work, I'm not a fan of the dual layers anymore.

#TrainingTruth: I still look forward to every run.

Running is my passion. I know from experience that sometimes, after doing something repeatedly for days, months, years, the excitement can wear off. Running continues to be something that I look forward to. It doesn't matter what kind of run I'm doing; long, short, road, trail, treadmill, alone, or with a partner/group I'm always happy to get out there. 


#TrainingTruth: It is really hard not to over-indulge during the summer.

This past week, I made one big dinner for the family. Then everyone's schedules had them scattered every direction and rarely did we have more than two people home for dinner at the same time. Then we went to Newport for the weekend adding to the challenge of eating healthy. Thursday, we're having a Reach the Beach team meeting and I'm bringing dessert. 

If you've never made this and decide to try it, DO NOT HATE ME. It's THAT GOOD!

I got this recipe from a former co-worker in Ohio (I think she got it from someone at her church). 

Don't forget to check out other great recipes at the WIAW link up at Peas & Crayons.

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to asses ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

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.”