Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Tips for Running with your Dog {Giveaway}

My dog loves to run. It makes him happy. His favorite race is the My Dogs are Barking 5K.

Exercising with your dog is a lot like training for your next big race. You need to have a plan, the right tools, and be prepared to practice.

Just like there are apps for runners to use to plan and track activity, Purina has created Purina Pro Plan P5 App, a user friendly app that allows you to track your dog's activity, work on training goals, and see achievements.

Through the Purina Pro Plan P5 App you can also access training videos on a wide variety of topics including obedience, agility, running, and strength training.

Fueling is just as important for your dog's exercise as it is to your race training. Purina has launched Purina Pro Plan PRiME and ReFUEL bars that can be used pre and post-exercise to manage your dog's energy stores.

Booney really enjoys earning his treat.

Here are some tips for running with your dog from Dr. Brian Zanghi, a research nutritionist and one of the canine physiologists behind the development of the Purina Pro Plan P5 App:
  1. Consult Your Vet – Before you begin running with your dog, check with your vet to make sure they are in the proper physical condition and receive the proper nutrition for this type and level of activity.
  2. Start small – Begin your activity program with short walks, jogs and training sessions at fifteen minute intervals.  It’s important your dog understands basic commands to make activity time more enjoyable (the heel command is crucial). Dog owners can also download the P5 app for free to set exercise and nutrition goals, as well as access step-by-step instruction, helpful video demonstrations and insight from top Pro Plan trainers.
  3. Pick the right conditions – When possible, always choose to run on grass or a soft path, rather than pavement. This is not only easier on the pads of your dog’s feet, but it’s also less pressure on their joints and bones. If you have to run on pavement, make sure to check the pads on your dog’s feet both before AND after your run, for cuts or abrasions.
  4. Ensure your dog receives proper nutrition for exercise – Unlike humans, a dog’s main energy source comes from fat – not carbs. A diet higher in fat and protein will increase an active dog’s metabolism and his endurance during exercise. The Purina Pro Plan Sport line delivers fine-tuned nutrition to promote strength and endurance for dogs of all activity levels. And for highly active dogs, the Purina Pro Plan PRiME and ReFUEL nutritional supplement bars can be fed before (PRiME) and after (ReFUEL) exercise to deliver concentrated targeted nutrients that help optimize performance.
  5. Provide proper hydration – It is important to let your dog her have access to water at all times, especially during long walks or locations away from home.

Purina has generously offered to give two winners the chance to try the Purina Pro Plan PRiME and ReFUEL bars. Each winner will receive 4 PRiME and 4 ReFUEL bars. Enter for your chance to fuel your dog below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent samples of Purina Pro Plan PRiME and ReFUEL bars for the purpose of review.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Training Truths: It's a Struggle

The struggle with my crunchy knee problems continued last week. It's been a daily roller coaster of not knowing what my knee will feel like when I wake up.

Monday - This is a regular REST day for me, so I did some planks for the FitFluential #FFAprilAbs challenge and that's about it.

Tuesday - As soon as I woke up I knew something was wrong. My knee felt "puffy" and my crunchy was back to being painful with more intense popping. I called the doctor and he scheduled a MRI to get a better look. After school, I took some ibuprofen and iced.

Wednesday - Much improved knee conditions...almost like Tuesday never happened! Just crunchy, but no pain. Planks.

Thursday - My knee was still feeling good, so I went for a run. No problems during the 3.4 miles with mrC or when I played with the dog after.

Friday - Another REST day

Saturday - Planks. SurfSet, and 3 mile run downtown before heading to my MRI. Ironically my knee was SILENT most of the day. It felt weird to write crunchy knee on the in-take form when my knee wasn't being crunchy. More confusion...

Sunday - Headed to the trail for 8 miles with mrC. It was chilly when we left, so I changed into my Athleta capris (you can't tell in the picture, but they are actually BRIGHT coral!). About 1.5 miles in, the sun came out and I quickly regretted my decision. Thank goodness I wore a racerback. Other than that annoyance, it was a quiet and pain free knee day. Still confused...

Yes, I AM wearing pants ;)

This was my last long run for awhile. Although I've been helping mrC train for the Newport 10 Miler, I'm having surgery to remove some skin cancer and won't be able to run per doctor's orders. Ironically, that is how I would normally deal with the stress of having surgery.

How do you deal with struggles/stress when you can't run or exercise?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Training Truths: The Cortisone Fix

Since February I have been trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with my knee! After a knee cap adjustment, the pain went away but it has remained CRUNCHY.

Last week I finally heard the answer...patellofemoral arthritis. I knew this day was coming, after-all I have had two major knee surgeries. I just thought it would come later, much later.

Fortunately, the treatment plan seems to be working and I have been able to run and do almost all of my workouts pain free.

Monday - strength for runners workout

Tuesday - Visited the sports medicine doctor and learned through a series of X-rays that the crunchies in my knee are caused by patellofemoral arthritis. First step in the treatment plan was a ultrasound guided cortisone shot followed by 48 hours of rest.

Wednesday - Joined the FitFluential April plank challenge. Have you heard about the new plank form? According to this post on PopSugar, it seems that planking with your palms up will engage the core better and improve posture.

Thursday - My knee was feeling ok and with the beautiful spring weather tempting me, I laced up for an easy 5K to beach and back. My first post-cortisone run felt good. Still clicking & clacking, but better movement probably because the cortisone attacked the inflammation inside. Post-run planking with my buddy.

Friday - planks

Saturday - Planks before SurfSet class - where we did a ton more on the boards! For the third week in a row we stayed downtown to do our long run. It did not warm up as much as I hoped, but 50 minutes of sweating through urban surfing was an excellent warmup and the sun did eventually come out to warm our legs. Other than some uncomfortable downhills, my knee remained happy through both of these workouts.

Sunday - Planks and then I met up with Katherine for a morning Booty Barre class. It was much more crowded than the last time I was there (January) and in a new (somewhat) smaller space, but it was still a killer workout...seriously, it is really hard! I like this class because it's a good mix of old moves that you recognize and new moves that keep you interested. It's also awesome that there is a class on Sunday mornings!

Did you find any ANSWERS last week?

Friday, April 4, 2014

5 New Fitness Finds

Last month I was introduced to some awesome new fitness finds. Here is a brief overview of my favorites:

Smash Run -

This website was referred to me by the Assistant Principal at my school. Her 5 year old son is a fan. The site basically keeps stats for runners. It's simple to log your runs. I use Nike+ and it's hassle-free. You earn badges (great motivation) for various accomplishments. You can see how you compare to others - including friends who also use it. It gives you detailed feedback about your stats. Oh yea - it's free. If you like stats, but aren't into the chat stuff (like DailyMile) this might be the way to go.

Athleta Record Time Run shorts -

After wearing another brand for years, but craving a less baggy feel, these shorts have everything I want with less material without having to compromise on fit by down-sizing. They have all my favorite features...lightweight material, zipper pocket, and 2.5 inch inseam. The wrap-around seams add a flattering look.

Athleta - All Align Short -

I don't have many spandex-y type shorts for running, but have found that they are super comfortable during SurfSet and other strength/cross training classes. These are a little shorter (2.5 inch inseam) than other pairs that I wear, but they keep everything covered up and stay put. They're on sale for $19.99 and also come in purple and teal.

Under Armour Marbella Sunglasses -

It's hard for me to find a good pair of sunglasses that I can wear while I'm running. About half way through a run, they'll steam up making it difficult to see. I have tried several pair and so far only these that Under Armour sent me to try have worked. The fit feels good on my face and they don't make me feel hotter than I already am from running.

Albion Fit Go Long Crew

I love fitness gear that can transition to casual wear without looking like I just came from a workout. This long sleeve crew top, that I received from Albion Fit, is super soft and long-waisted just the way I like them. It's a perfect Spring choice. It comes in a variety of colors and I have a giveaway {here} happening until Sunday April 6. You can also receive 15% off your purchase with my discount code: escapade15

What fit gear have you discovered lately??

Disclaimer: I mentioned that I received some product for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Albion Fit: Go Long Crew Giveaway!

You may have seen me hanging out repeatedly in the same blue long sleeve crew top lately.

When I first started seeing Albion apparel online, I was impressed with the feminine but sporty look. So, of course I checked them out. Albion is a family owned eco-friendly business focused on creating luxurious clothing for women on the go.

Because I love a comfy long sleeve top that I can wear casually or to and from SurfSet, I reached out to the company. They generously sent me their bestselling top: the Go Long Crew with thumb holes.

This top is everything they claim it to be: soft and lightweight, flattering in length, and versatile for any situation. It retails for $28 but you can get 15% off with my discount code escapade15 (good on any purchase through April 6, 2014).

Besides wearing it while hanging out around the house and as a cover up to SurfSet classes, the Go Long Crew is also perfect for my strength and yoga workouts in the cool basement.

Albion offers a wide variety of tops, bottoms, and swimwear - all with the same fitness flattering touch. Here are some others I would love to try of my favorites:

Giveaway: Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to try an Albion Fit Go Long Crew!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Albion Fit provided the product for this review, but all opinions are my own.