Friday, May 30, 2014

Five Gym Bag Summer Must Haves

As the seasons change, so do the items in my gym bag. After recently having skin cancer surgery, what goes in my bag takes on a whole new importance as the summer weather arrives.

1. Sunscreen - Even on overcast days, I'm wearing it. I love Neutrogena and use it on my body and the baby face formula on my face.
2. Headband - I use headbands for any workout. They keep my sweaty hair out of my sweaty face. A lot of my favorites are from Sweaty Bands.
3. Hat - Protecting my face from the sun is so much more important to me now. One of my favorites is from Athleta.
4. Water Bottle - I carry water or Cytomax on nearly all my runs, especially in the warmer weather. My Simple Hydration bottle makes it so easy to access my drink, but stay hands-free.
5. Sunglasses - Not my favorite running accessory, but another layer of sun protection. I received a pair of Under Armour Marbella to review a couple of months ago and I love them.

What's in your gym bag for the summer?

Today I'm linking up with the hosts of Friday Five: Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar

Monday, May 26, 2014

Training Truths: Back On My Feet

By now, you have probably heard about Mizuno's new campaign to get people running and support the Back On My Feet program at the same time. If not, here are the basics: Download the Mizuno Baton App and use it on your runs. For every mile that you run during a one week window, Mizuno will donate $1 to Back On Your Feet.

Now every run means even more.

Tuesday - Beautiful 4 mile trail run after school. Managed my pace better and finished with a 8:56 final mile.

Thursday - With questionable weather looming, I opted to do my 4 mile run from home instead of school. It turned out that I beat the rain and finished with another awesome final mile at 8:41! Then I hung out with the boys.

Saturday - My first workout of the day was SurfSet where we really worked our upper body. Now I'll know what's in store when the instructor says to grab two sets of weights.

(note: I am whimpy, so my weights are very light!)

The weather on Saturday was again questionable, so instead of running downtown after SurfSet, I came home. Hoping for better weather on Sunday for a long run, I chose to do a virtual 5K and used a tempo mix from RockMyRun. It wasn't a good tempo run, but I had another awesome last mile (9:22, 9:44, 8:47).

Sunday - No surprise that I woke up a little stiff from Saturday's SurfSet, but to loosen up I did a 10 minute ab workout (from Comcast on-demand, who knew?) and then loved on my foam roller. After selecting the Run Chat Fan Mix by RockMyRun as my pace music, I set out for a six miler that turned out way better than I expected. I'm happy with my overall pace, but even happier with my splits because for once I'm not all over the place. Mile 4 was a continuous climb that started with a steep 150' gain over about 350 yards. And of course I love that my last mile was once again my fastest.

Do you dedicate your runs?

Friday, May 23, 2014

I've got Disco Fever (10K variety)!

Last Saturday was the fourth year for the TI Disco Fever 5K/10K, but it was my first time running it. Christine & Sarah, the owners of TI Fitness where I SurfSet, organized this charity event. These ladies are so inspiring and super fun to be around.

I grew up listening to disco music, so I was pumped to join the fun and play a little dress up.

On my way to registration, I ran into some of the girls from the There She Goes Again running group and chatted for a few minutes.

The race was held at the World Sports Grille in Manchester and pre-race booths were set up in the lower level of the garage. I love the race shirt made by b Positive, but the sizes run very small, so it's likely that I won't be wearing it.

While waiting to make my way to the start line, I checked out Blue Trailer, a mobile rental locker service launched in March by a runner named Molly. Her #lockitup concept was born from the need to store items securely at a race/event. It's a great idea, especially when the weather is less than favorable at the start, your car is far away, and there's no bag check.

The 5K and 10K started at the same time, but were separated by about 50 yards. Both followed the same route along the Manchester Trail until just before the 2 mile mark when the 5K split off. It was fun to run along the trail since it is one of our regular choices for long runs.

As usual, mrC joined me on this groovy adventure. We stuck together for most of the run, but he had to walk at mile 5 and I just wanted to get to the finish.

After the race, runners could immediately check results and then head over to the World Sports Grille deck for post-race live music, beverages, and food. I will definitely do this one again!

Do you like themed races?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Training Truths: Running with a Hottie

Last week I was completely spoiled by the fact that I got to do all of my runs and a race with mrC. People often tell me that they wish their husband/wife would run with them and how lucky I am. It is definitely fun to run with mrC and I'm grateful he is a runner.

Tuesday - We hit the trail by my school for a quick 3 mile run before littleC's tennis match. The day before was really warm, so it was nice to have mild temps for this one. We weren't ready for warm runs yet.

Thursday - We tried to escape the heat on this 4 mile trail run, but instead it was a sweatfest. We did ok for the first two miles, but after the turnaround, we both struggled. Big difference from Tuesday's run!

Saturday - Disco Fever 10K with mrC. The morning started off rainy, but by the race start the clouds were moving out and making room for plenty of sunshine. I walked with mrC when he needed to until the last mile, when I just wanted to finish. Our pace was pretty good, slowing when we reached the steep hill at the turn around, but I feel really good about my final mile! 9:19, 9:36, 9:44, 10:21, 9:52, 849.

Do you run with a hottie or wish you did?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ragnar Cape Cod - Too Vicious & Delicious

Last weekend I became a Ragnar Finisher!

It all started early Friday morning when we descended upon Hull, Massachusetts to start our 192 mile running journey to Provincetown.

When I wasn't running, I was keeping company with my van 2 teammates.

We passed the time leap-frogging, supporting, and cheering each other on while we ran.

Finishing my first leg along the Cape Cod Canal was gorgeous.

It was easy to stay hydrated, even when we ran in areas without van support, with our Simple Hydration water bottles.

We were able to catch a couple of hours sleep before legs 2 & 3 in the Ragnar sleep areas.

ShowerPill kept us from having to ride around in stinky vans. 

Before I knew it, we were starting our final legs to the finish.

After my last run ( I was runner #11), we hurried to join our final runner across the finish line.

After doing Reach the Beach NH in 2012, I didn't think I would want to do another relay, but I'm glad that Katherine asked me to join her team.

This is a relay I could see myself doing again.

Have you ever run a relay?

*Our team was supplied with ShowerPill Athletic Wipes and Simple Hydration water bottles. These are both products that I support and all opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Workouts

First let me say that I have been faithfully completing a daily yoga for runners routine along with the FitFluential Namaste in May #FFYoga challenge. My goal is to limber up these tight muscles that I think are the root of my aches and pains.

It felt good to get back to SurfSet Saturday. After two weeks away, I got my butt kicked and it felt awesome!

Normally we run after class, but mrC got in late from his trip and needed to nap. We stopped at the grocery (because it's on the way home) and after putting everything away, I jumped on the treadmill to test my legs. Even though everything felt ok, I kept it to a short two miles.

I spent some time getting things ready for Ragnar and checking my own packing list more than once! My team is one of the Ragnar teams being sponsored by ShowerPill and Katherine shared that a box of goodies arrived.

Photo from Katherine

How was your weekend? 

Friday, May 2, 2014

5 Things Not to Forget to Pack for a Relay

There's not a whole lot of room in a van filled with 6 runners. People always say to just pack the essentials...but what are those exactly?

There are many things we pack to get us through 2 days of non-stop running:

1. clothes - one outfit for each run and comfy clothes for when you're not running
2. running gear - headband, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, watch, water bottle, shoes, reflective vest/lights for night run
3. non running gear - flip flops, compression socks/shorts, sleeping bag/pillow, chargers, garbage bag
4. toiletries - deodorant, toothpaste/brush, Advil, facial/body wipes, towel
5. food - fuel, personal snacks,

But, what do you really need in order to run your relay legs? Those things you would put in your carry-on if you were traveling and worried your luggage might be lost by the airline. The things that just..."make" your run.

Here are my 5 Relay Essentials (I would be totally bummed if I forgot any one of the these):

1. My Mizunos -There is literally blood, sweat, and tears in my Wave Rider 17s. Of all the Mizunos I have worn, this pair fits the best, feels amazing, and looks sweet.

2. Nike GPS watch - I love the ease of this gadget and how it gathers all my personal stats for me. When it beeps at each mile, it's like having a friend with me.

3. Friction Defense - this stick of glide-like-vaseline by Gold Bond keeps my feet pretty, comfortable, and blister-free. Keeps my feet nice and cool too.

4. Big Banjee wrist band - I keep my phone with me at all times, mostly for safety reasons, but also so that I can take pictures. Without this wrist band (by Sprigs), I would have to carry my phone. eww.

5. Simple Hydration water bottle - Another necessary item to keep me hands-free while I run.  It tucks almost weightlessly into the back of my shorts and even if I don't need all the water in the bottle, it's not a hassle to have with me.

What items would you NOT want to forget to pack?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

5 aMAYzing 30 Day Challenges

There are so many good, I mean really good, challenges out there this month. I have been known to take on more than one at a time, but May is looking like a record setting month.

Most of the challenges I follow require Instagram, Twitter, or Challenge Loop participation in some way to be entered to win the prizes. That part is appealing to me because I like the feeling of teamwork and the motivation I get from seeing others. However, you can also do the challenges without posting a thing!

Here's what I'm doing:

#ZOOMAphotoaday by ZOOMA Race Series - This challenge is for fun, but every week you have the chance to win a Fastdraw 20 Handheld water bottle from ZOOMA race sponsor Ultimate Hydration.

#MakeFitHappen by Fitness Magazine - Another fun photo-a-day challenge with a definite fitness focus and the chance to win a daily prize. Fitness Magazine is also hosting a Pinterest version of this challenge and the grand prize is a Willow 3 Beach Cruiser from Brooklyn Bicycle Co!

#SweatADay by Under Armour - Shauna Harrison leads you through the daily moves via Instagram. I've participated in this monthly challenge in the past and loved it. I learned new exercises and felt stronger every day. A couple of things make this challenge fun: the weekly shout outs and a chance to win an awesome UA swag bag.

#FFYoga by FitFluential & MPG - As a runner who has faced many injuries lately, this challenge is just what I need to limber up. Two winners will be outfitted in MPG Mondetta Performance Gear.

#SweatPinkYoga - by Fit Approach - Another fit and fun challenge (without a monthly calendar) and a chance to win a Sweat Pink yoga mat. Daily challenges are posted to Instagram.

May is shaping up to be an a-MAY-zing month of challenges. I apologize now for the flood of photos I will be posting! Hopefully I can keep up, especially since I will be running the Ragnar Cape Cod relay next week. I wonder how many van-mates I can get involved?

Do you like 30 day challenges? Which one(s) are you doing?