Monday, December 9, 2013

Training Truths: Finding Motivation

Week 1 of the Chilly Challenge was a success! It has been so fun to see all the Instagram photos posted each day by the participants completing the daily exercises. Reading your comments and learning that the challenge is motivating you makes me so happy. In case you missed it, you can find out how to participate here. Winner will receive a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17s!

In addition to leading the daily exercise goals for the Chilly Challenge, I continued to run, cross train, and build strength. Admittedly, I get much of my motivation from others. My Reach the Beach MA team captain has been creating weekly challenges to keep us motivated. I find awesome workouts/challenges shared on social media. Group fitness classes bring out the competitor in me. And my amazing husband's encouragement picks me up when I'm doubting myself.

Monday - #squatstreak, wall sits, foam rolling.

Tuesday - My partner-in-crime was working late, but motivated by my RTB weekly goals I did this 2 mile run on my own. It was faster than I want to go while I'm still in healing-mode, but I know it was because my anxiety level was elevated. Running alone and near dusk makes me nervous. #squatstreak and foam rolling in the morning.

Wednesday - #squatstreak, wall sits, foam rolling and an afternoon session of 4 minute ninja abs. This is the same workout from Amanda at that I found a while ago and I'm still loving it because it's tough. It's only four minutes, but it's a killer workout. I love when other runners share their workouts so I can steal them try new things.

Thursday - #squatstreak, wall sits, foam roll. Afternoon PT session with Dr. Brian. It feels like we've been dealing with this adductor issue FOR...EV...ER, but he reminds me each time that these muscles take the longest to heal. I'm not a patient person.

Friday - After finding out that mrC was stuck in Minneapolis on Thursday and then still stuck on Friday afternoon, I really needed this 2 mile run. Even though I was feeling frustrated, I really needed to NOT take it out on my pace because Thursday's PT was intense and I was feeling some effects of the ART. I did much better. Sadly, Booney did not get the memo that my running partner was absent. #squatstreak and foam rolling in the morning.

Saturday - I love #SurfSet Saturdays. Although I wish I lived closer, I like taking classes at TI Fitness downtown. The total body workout is great for my cross training and I like using equipment that I don't have at home and learning new things. The instructors are fun and I love when they add "oh just 6 more" to the end of a 20 rep round. #squatstreak and foam rolling in the morning.

Sunday - mrC was finally able to join me for a run for the first time in more than a week, so I convinced him that an easy loop that included the rail trail would be perfect. We ran the first two miles, not 2.5 like I thought, parallel to the river on the road. On a side road we connected with the trail and ran back toward the car. There is something very comforting about hearing the footfalls of your running partner and just knowing he is there, even if you're not talking. Since my "long run" was scheduled for five miles, I asked mrC to pick me up at the bank and kept running into town. The last mile wasn't as nice as the first four.

Where do you find your motivation?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fitness Friday: Some New Favorites

Happy Friday!

It's Teacher Workshop Day at school today, so I'm enjoying an extra cup of coffee before heading to work.

Today seemed like a great day to SHARE the great new fitness items I've discovered recently - just in case you are looking for gift ideas for the runner in your life!

Under Armour Perfect Duffle:

For the last couple of months, I have been participating in Under Armour's #SweatADay Challenges. A few weeks ago I was selected as a weekly winner and UA sent me a bunch of awesome gear. My favorite piece turned out to be the Under Armour Perfect Duffle. I love all the space it offers and that it's fashionable.

Athleta Polartec Tights:

I like to run all year round and since I live in New Hampshire that means that I'll be running in the cold and snow. Last month I received a pair of Polartec Power Stretch 2 Tights while working on a campaign with FitFluential and Athleta. These running pants are fleece on the inside and super toasty. After wearing them a few times now, I know that I need to save them for the under 20 degree days.

Mizuno Wave Rider 17

I've been a fan of Mizuno since getting fit for my first pair of Wave Riders at my local running store. My Mizuno friend Lori Ann was generous enough to send me a sneak peak pair of the new Wave Rider 17s and they are even more amazing than my others. I love, love the slate color and the all new springy sock liner. They are available in stores today.

FitSnap App

The creator of this iPhone photo app reached out to me and I'm so glad that he did. This app lets you add workout data (distance, duration, yoga pose, comments) to your photos and offers themes like running and yoga - with more coming soon. The inspirational photos can be shared easily from your iPhone to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It's also easy to save to your camera roll or share through airdrop (mrC loves this feature). The photos look amazing and there are 8 filters to help make them even more amazing. (Check out all the photos in this post!)

Chilly Challenge!!

My new favorite challenge is MY OWN! Sunday marked the start of my Instagram challenge and I'm super excited to be giving away a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17s. I am so impressed with the photos posted by the participants so far (like the one below). Want to play along? Check out all the details here.

What's on your favorites list right now?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Shoes

A couple of summers ago when I was running on the local trail, I kicked a tree root. It hurt something fierce for days and my bruised toenail eventually fell off. I think I might have broken the toe, too. Ever since then, I've been more apt to run on paved trails, but they are not exactly close to home.

So when Salomon asked if I would like to test run a pair of their trail shoes, I couldn't say no. They sent me a pair of XR Crossmax 2. I don't normally switch up my shoes for trail running, but it makes sense as I do wear different shoes for short and long runs. 

When I first saw them in the box, I thought they were huge. To my relief, when I picked them up they were lighter than I expected. The shoe itself is much larger than my everyday running shoes, but the Crossmax did not feel that different in weight.

One noticeable feature on these shoes is the laces: you don't have to tie them. I struggled with this feature and wasn't quite sure what to do with the extra lacing. Eventually I just tucked it under. 

Made for rough terrain, the bottoms of the shoes offer traction.

I took them on a short trail run. No worries about stubbing my toes on tree roots, railroad ties, or rocks this time!

Overall, I can see why trail runners would chose these shoes. They offer stability, traction, and protection from the elements you typically see on the trails. 

Do you run trails? Do you switch up your shoes on trail runs?

Disclaimer: I was sent a pair of Salomon XR Crossmax 2 for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Training Truths: Loving my Pace!

I don't know about you, but my week was crazy! Everyday last week seemed to be in overdrive and sped by, but when it came to my running, I was able to control my pace and stay close to my goal of 9:30.

Monday was a rest day and Tuesday was just super long, so I did my #squatstreak, wall-sits, challenge exercises, and that's all. It was my first time doing good-mornings (pictured below) and I loved how I could really feel my hamstrings working.

I finally got my first run of the week in on Wednesday after my PT session and on the treadmill because it was raining. I felt really good about this run because I hit my goal pace which I really have trouble doing on the treadmill.

Thursday before traveling to the in-laws I did my #squatstreak, wall-sits, and plank work.

On Friday I had another successful run from my in-laws house to the local college campus. It was a super flat route, and at first I worried that I would go too fast and pay for it later. Fortunately, I think I'm getting the hang of listening to my body.

In 10 degree weather, my step daughter and I braved the cold to attend a friendly group Turkey Burner Fun Run hosted by my friend Gary on Saturday. This was my first hilly route in a while and my longest run since August (not counting the half marathon I squeaked in). The group of 20 had the choice of three routes: 3, 5, or 7 miles. I ran the 5 mile route and was happy to see my overall pace at the end.

photo credit Gary

Don't forget to check out my #ChillyChallenge on Instagram - you could win a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17s!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fitness Friday: 2nd Annual Chilly Challenge

Happy (Black) Friday. I'm guessing many of you laced up your running shoes and hit the Black Friday sales in the wee hours this morning. Hopefully, you at least had time to digest your Thanksgiving meal before racing around to the stores.

Not me! I enjoy sleeping in when I'm at the in-laws, but I am going for a nice little fun run later. And I'm planning on lacing up my brand new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17 sent to me by my favorite Mizuno Running buddy Lori Ann to try out.

Before I go, I want to tell you how you can win a pair of Wave Rider 17s for yourself. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you already know that I love daily challenges almost as much as I love my Mizunos. This year, I used those challenges as inspiration for the 2nd Annual Chilly Challenge.

Here is a calendar of the daily challenges! I look forward to seeing your Instagram pictures or videos.

Update: link to calendar download here.

Who's in for the Chilly Challenge this year?