Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How do YOU know how strong you are?

This has been a great summer for me, cross training wise.

I was always bad about mixing up my workouts, but I was forced to after I had to take several weeks off of running due to my foot injury.  After I eased back into running, while adjusting to my new custom orthotics, I wasn't sure how strong I was going to be going into triathlon/marathon training.

I filled those non-running hours with floor exercises, stretches, foam rolling, and swimming.  I gauge my fitness level by how many miles I can run, so it was hard for me to tell how I was doing based solely on these activities.

Then I read a post by Miss Zippy, about squats.  Now, I happen to like squats, and what I learned from that post, is that a squat is most effective when you do it while barefoot, and by keeping your heels on the ground the whole time.  After I read her post, I thought,"whoo hoo! I must be doing something right, I can do that!"

Let me demonstrate:

I start by standing as straight as possible, feet shoulder distance apart, with my arms in the air:

Can you see Frank sitting there on the grill cover?  That dog blends into everything, sometimes I'll walk into the family room, and not even see him sleeping on the chocolate brown couch.

Slowly lower yourself down, and keep your heels flat on the floor.

Get as low as you can, without leaning forward or backward, then return to start.

Pretty cool, huh?  

Do you have a favorite strength exercise or stretch?  I've got to keep mixing things up, so let me know!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I've had better 14 mile runs, I've had worse

My 14 miler yesterday pretty much stunk.

I had planned on running while we were up in the Adirondacks, but we went up a day late, and basically didn't have enough time to fit it in.  We spent the whole day Friday at the water park, hauling tubes up hills, climbing steps to the rides, and being thrown around by water.  By the end of the day I was wiped out, and for some reason my knee was hurting, but I was happy we were able to finally make the trip before school started.

Here we are on the train ride:

Saturday we needed to head home, we had shopping and cleaning to do for the annual birthday party we throw in August for Eliza, Mike, and his Dad.  This year we added my mom in law to the mix, as well as Mike's cousin.  We had a lot of cake....

Back to my run.  We left the ADK around lunchtime, it was very weird, it was so quiet on the lake for a Saturday in August.  The state closed the campgrounds near my mom and dad in law's place, because of Hurricane Irene.  We're four hours north of NYC, but strong winds and rain were expected, so they were being on the safe side I guess.

We didn't eat before starting the drive, so I didn't fuel up as well as I should have before a 14 mile run, I had nuun, water, two Little Debbie peanut butter wafer bars, and goldfish crackers.  Stupid Stupid. By the time we got home and unpacked, it was after three o'clock, but I set off in the 81 degree heat, it was humid to boot.

I really wasn't in the mood to run.

I made it about a mile, and was still in my neighborhood, when I saw what looked like a body on the side of the road.  As I got closer, I realized it was a huge deer.  Which annoyed me, obviously someone had hit it, and just left it there.

I got out on the main road, with the sun right overhead, and found my pace.  A cyclist passed by me, and gave me the high sign.  I was okay for a while, but was feeling the heat, so I looked at G-unit, and had barely gone four miles. WTF? I can bang out six miles no sweat, but at this point, I was already dragging.

So I put on my ipod, didn't help.

Had a GU, didn't help.

Tried paying attention to my surroundings, didn't help.

Thought of all my fellow runners who are injured, and how much they would love to be running right now, didn't help.

Thought of my family and friends in NYC and Long Island, and the hurricane, didn't help.

Started to think about my blog. Thought about how lately, I feel like I'm censoring myself a bit.  How I don't think people want to read about the things I think about, and worry about, on a daily basis, so I don't go there. How I wrote a long email to my BFF Jennifer, and after I sent it, realized that could have been a whole blog post.

Thought of how this run really sucked, and that my head was not in it.

Thought of Yo Gabba Gabba, and their song "Don't Stop Don't Give Up."  Didn't work.

Thought of the marathon, and all my family and friends who are going to come and watch me run by and give them a high five.  Didn't help.

Thought of how great it's going to feel to run through all those NYC Streets that I know so well. Didn't help.

Thought about 9/11, and how I'm not ready for the 10th Anniversary coverage to start.  Didn't help.

Thought of Julia, and my friend J's husband, and my friend L, and how they live with Neurofibromatosis.  Didn't help.

At mile 8.5, called Mike, and asked him to come get me, so I could finish the run in the comfort of my basement treadmill.

Felt like a failure.

Got moving again, felt a second wind, probably because I knew I was going home.  Was trudging along, when a white Honda came towards me, with my friend Norine hanging out the car window to give me a high five.  She was coming home from playing golf, and if Mike weren't on his way to get me, I swear I would have climbed right into her back seat.

Then Mike and the kids came along, I got in his car, got home, went down to the basement, banged out the last 5 miles while watching Rachel Zoe's show on Bravo.  Have no idea what it's called, I have no real interest in fashion, but I got sucked in.

Then I was done.


Then I remembered that it's okay to have a sucky run once in a while.

Because that's why they call it training.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A winner, a giveaway, a new blogger and 14 miles

1.  I have a 14 mile run planned for Saturday while we're in the Adirondacks, which will be a nice change of pace scenery wise, but that means hills. Lot's of them, paired with my silly fear that at some point while I'm on a woodsy stretch of road, a bear is going to come charging out and eat me.

I'm going to try and not eat any of these, although they are the best donuts in the world when they're hot.

2. My friend Heather started a blog, she's a runner who is training for the Atlantic City Marathon this fall, her first.  Heather and I shared a house our senior year of college, and every time I hear that 4 Non Blondes song "What's Going On"  I think of her. : )    Check her out here:  Mommy Are You Going For A Run?

3. Did you see my YMX giveaway?  There's a very cool jersey up for grabs.  

And winner #5 of my Fundraising Giveaway is Jess, The Blonde Ponytail!  She's actually running the Hood to Coast Relay this weekend,  Good Luck Jess, and Congrats!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

YMX Maori Dragon Sleeveless Jersey Review & Giveaway!

Now that I am officially a triathlete, I've been checking out swimming and cycling gear, there really is so much out there to add to my training arsenal.  Right before Irongirl, I was contacted by YMX to do a review of their Maori Dragon cycling/running jersey.  After checking out their website of funky, functional jerseys, tanks, and shirts, I was definitely eager to try it out!

I was sent two items, first, the YMX Maori Dragon Sleeveless jersey.  At first I wasn't sure which size to choose, I always seem to fall in between sizes, I figured I would want more of a snug fit if I were biking, but I know I don't like a tight fit when running.  To be on the safe side, I went with the larger one, and was happy with the fit.

How cool is this jersey? I love the funky pattern, as well as the three back pockets.  They are wide enough, as well as deep enough to fit a water bottle, cellphone, camera (which every blogger needs) and several gels.  I thought about putting my ipod in a pocket, there was plenty of room, but I've been going without music on my runs with Frank the Dog, so decided to leave it out.

The fabric is great, I'm used to the tech shirts I receive at races, but this was something completely different.  The jersey is made of a "MadKool" fabric, it was very light and soft, and a bit stretchy, with a bonus UV Protection of 50+.  In addition, it's wrinkle and abrasion resistant, which is nice, especially when your dog jumps up on you, while you're wearing the jersey, as you take him for a run.

I wore it on my 13 mile run last Friday, and it was very comfortable.  It rode up a bit when I wore it with my slippery compression shorts, but stayed in place when I wore it with my regular biking shorts.

Once I hit the 9 mile mark, I was swimming with sweat.  I put my hand on my back, and it was wet, but the wicking fabric kept the sweat away from me.  Bonus!! I especially liked the front zipper, because as I got warmer, I zipped it lower, and it cooled me off.

The second item that I tried out, was something I've never seen before, the YMX Maori Stripe Bolero.

This is a really great idea.  It's a bolero, which wraps around your back, and covers your arms. It's made of the same fabric as the jersey, with all the same benefits.  I paired it up with my CTF tank, and went for a bike ride.  Loved the pattern, loved the bolero.

I look a bit spacey here.  Must be all these marathon training miles are wearing me out.  And you know what?  All these funky patterns are making me want to get another tattoo. : )

All in all, thumbs up for the YMX gear, I'm already looking at their fall collection!!


Would you like a Maori Dragon Jersey of you own?  Here is your chance!

How to enter, please leave a separate comment for each:

1. Please go to YMX by YellowMan, and check out their gear.  Let me know what you would love to have!
2. Be a friend of my blog, or follow me on twitter.
3. Follow YMX on facebook here, or twitter here.
4. Share the giveaway info any way you'd like, as in facebook, twitter, or you blog.
5. If you have donated to my NYC Marathon Fundraising Giveaway for the Children's Tumor Foundation, let me know, you automatically received 5 entries.
6. Make a donation to CTF, through my fundraising page, here.  For every $5.00 you donate, you receive one entry.
7. Let me know what race you're training for next.

I will choose a winner on Tuesday, September 6th.

Good Luck!!!

*Note: I was provided with a YMX Jersey and Bolero for the purpose of this review.  My opinions on the product are entirely my own, and were not influenced in any way by any outside parties. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

I think I'm getting used to this "getting up early and running" thing.  I'm usually up around five anyway, and instead of trying to go back to sleep, I get out of bed to run.  This morning Jeannine and I brought Frank out for five miles, then I ran 8 on the treadmill.  Early mornings in the summer are perfect for running.  Plus I got to test out a new shirt that I'm going to review next week, along with a....giveaway!

I'm also out of my food rut, I was making the same things over and over.  I read about a cookbook called Cooking Up A Storm, that was published after Hurricane Katrina.  So many people lost family recipes in the flooding, that the local newspaper asked readers to send in their favorite recipes, so that everyone could have them again.  I bought the cookbook for Mike for his birthday,

and for dinner this week, we had the Spicy Cajun Shrimp:

We only used half of the cayenne, but it was still pretty spicy.  I prefer brown rice, but we went with white to stay true to the recipe, and it was Kill-er!!!

Speaking of food, my Dad  is coming up from Maryland today for the weekend, and he's bringing us a mess of crabs, hopefully I'll remember to take a few photos while we're scarfing them down.

It's Friday again, time for winner #4 of my fundraising giveaway for The Children's Tumor Foundation, using random.org, it's Colleen from Irondiva!  Congrats, and let me know which TWO prizes you would like, the necklace, socks, sweaty band, and towels are available.

Have a happy weekend : )

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You guessed it

Yup, I got a job.  And it happened really fast.

I've been thinking of going back to work for a while now.  Believe me, I am so appreciative and happy that I have been home raising Luke and Eliza, but I knew at some point I was going to go back.  But back to what, exactly, is where I was confused.

For the past several months, I'd been thinking seriously of becoming a personal trainer.  That meant going back to school, then starting my own business.  I knew how I was going to market myself, and who I wanted to target.  But I didn't pull the trigger, for several reasons.  Ultimately, I kept seeing myself going back into sales, I really enjoy it, so I decided to go back down that path.

This week I met with a recruiter, to see what my options were for part time, actually to see if I had any options.  I got out one of my favorite suits from my working girl days, (Luke took the photo of me in my suit after I got home), and I was thrilled that it still fit.  I had to take a typing test (63 wpm if you're curious), and other tests, I still know my way around a spreadsheet, and a word document.  I even had to watch a video on "Safety in the Workplace."  I felt like I was fresh out of college, and looking for my first job. I have a good resume, apparently almost too good, so if I want to go back full time, it's going to take a while to find a position.  And the part time jobs that they have would be a tough fit around my family's schedule.

Then yesterday, Mike and I talked more about one other option.....working for his company, part time.  Making calls for the sales team, generating leads, all that good stuff.  So I said, Hire Me.  So now Mike's my boss.  Hee Hee.

I feel an odd sense of relief, and excitement.  I'm going into these last few weeks before school starts feeling good, and looking forward to this new chapter.

Because who knows what can happen next.  : )

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Seven Links

I took the kids to the movies today to see The Smurfs, it's rainy and cloudy, a perfect day for it.  The last time we went to the movies, someone broke into the Jeep and stole the DVD player.  Today we made it out unscathed, although I think I was the only person in the theater eating a banana instead of popcorn. Yup, I'm the Mom who smuggles in water and snacks in my purse.

Did I ever mention I'm not a fan of bananas?  I make myself eat them anyway, since they're a runners BFF.

A while back, my Twinsie Jess, of the Blond Ponytail, tagged me for Seven Links.....and here they are!

1. My Most Popular Post: it was my recap of my First Marathon!

2. My Most Beautiful Post: I guess it would be the post I wrote for me and Mike's 10th Wedding Anniversary...

3. My Most Controversial Post was the one I titled "Scary Food"  it was about some of the sugary breakfast choices at a local restaurant, along with how I felt that some food commercials were taking treats to the extreme.

4. My Most Helpful Post: I don't dole out much advice, but I wrote a post about how I needed to pay closer attention to servicing my Jeep.  That post got a lot of hits, so hopefully some of you guys went out and checked the level of air in your tires after reading it. : )

5. A post whose success surprised me: the post where I wrote about our adoption of Frank, from a local Animal Rescue.  I was surprised at how many people commented over how great it was to do something like that, and I realized how many of us are animal lovers.

6. A post I felt didn't get the attention it deserved: hmmmm.  I have no idea honestly.  Although I thought more people would comment on the post I wrote after we had a medium come to my mom's house, and she described the ghosts we had seen in the house to a T.  

7. The Post I'm Most Proud of:  I'm proud of everything I write, but I'm proud of the post I wrote about why I blog.  If you want to know more about me, that's the one to read  : ) 

So there it is, seven links.  I can't remember who has, or hasn't done this post, so tell me, what's your favorite post?   I'd love to read it!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Friday Five

1.  I had a good week, still feeling the good vibes from Iron Girl.  A few people asked me which part of the race I liked the best, and I'm surprised to say that it was the swim!  I think it's because I'm happy with how I've progressed with my swimming, my endurance in the water is up, and I'm comfortable with my stroke.  I think that came into play in the race, once I found my groove, it centered me, calmed me down, and got me into the right mindset for the rest of the race.  I looked at my swim results again, and I was ranked 192 for the swim, out of over 1,000 finishers!

2.  So now marathon training has become the priority.  I ran 11 miles this morning, 5 miles outside with Frank, then finished it up with 6 on the treadmill while the kids slept and Mike left for work.  I thought about getting up super early and doing all of it outside, but thought better of it, I'll save that for the reeeally long runs.

3.  Speaking of Frank, he's going to turn one on September First!  We didn't get him until he was 12 weeks old, but we're going to have to make a little celebration for him.  He's doing well, although he still gets super excited when someone comes over.  He barks now when he wants our attention, and I swear he thinks he can talk.  He'll walk over to me and go "woaa woaa woaaaaa" then grab my shorts.  So that means he wants to go out.  I also made the mistake of giving him a piece of deli ham out of the fridge one day, so now this is his favorite spot:

4. It felt like summer was flying by the other day, but after I looked at the calendar, I realized school still doesn't start for a month.  I'm trying to fit in as much outdoor fun as I can, we're going to take a trip to the water park, and I already bought our State Fair tickets (and I'm already thinking of what I'm going to eat there).  Today it's going to be beautiful, and we're going to spend the whole afternoon at the pool.

5.  Time to pick winner #3 for my Fundraising Giveaway!  You can still donate to enter, check it out here. I used random.org to choose the winner.....Congrats to Giraffy at 365 Days of Awesome!!!!!
Let me know which TWO prizes you would like : )

Happy Training, Happy Racing, Happy Weekend!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Iron Girl Triathlon Race Report

What a great race.

I'm really happy today.  For me, I love the day after a race, when all the details set in, and I get to further enjoy my race high.

Going into race weekend, I felt a little uneasy.  I couldn't really do a proper taper, because I'm in the middle of marathon training, and I slept lousy the entire week.  The race was on Sunday, and Friday night I think I slept a total of three hours, which bugged me out because I know it's the sleep you get two nights before a race, that really counts.

Saturday morning Jeannine and Gina and I headed out to Oneida Shores, to check in our bikes, pick up our race packets, and check out the expo for Iron Girl Syracuse.  During the ride over, I told Jeannine that I was bugging out a bit, and feeling nervous.  I know that it was the fear of the unknown, but I started to feel better once we got our bikes and got on line to check in.  I saw several of my friends, and chatted up the woman who was racking her bike next to me, about the best spot to place my bike, well, S's bike.  I put it towards the end of the row, closest to where I would head out to the bike course. I figured I would rather run farther after the swim, to avoid having to maneuver my bike through everyone.

We listened to the course talk, and learned where we needed to go for each leg of the race, then we headed home.  I spent the rest of the day hanging out with the kids and Mike, getting my gear together, and doing laundry (which is rapidly becoming a daily thing).  Then I got goofy with my new swim cap:

I had my usual dinner of pasta, sauce and bread, and I was in bed by 9:30.  I knew I was going to be tossing and turning, but I think I dropped off around 10:30, and slept pretty well until 3:30.  I figured I could fall back asleep for another hour, but as soon as I thought of the swim, that was it.  I got out of bed at 4:30, and took Frankie for a short walk, I knew I was up early when the newspaper delivery guy came by and dropped off our paper.  I made my coffee, bagel with peanut butter and grabbed half a banana, then I waited on my front steps for the girls to pick me up. We decided to leave a five, we wanted to park at the lake, and not have to take the shuttle, so we left early.

It was already crowded when we got to transition, and the sun was just coming up:

I laid everything out, and was drinking some nuun, when I looked up and saw my friend Kelly coming down the row.  She gave me a hug, and for a second there I got reeeeallly nervous.  She was in my swim wave, so I told her I would try to get towards the front of the pack, because I planned on swimming as soon as I could.  I heard other people saying they were going to walk as long as possible, and I wanted to get in front of them. 

We thought the sun behind our heads made us look angelic.

Transition closed, we headed down to the lake, to figure out the swim, my wave was at 7:25. Jeannine and Gina were in the wave ahead of me, so after they left, I kind of stood there, getting nervous.  I was the only one in my wave in just a swim suit, everyone else had on wet suits or tri suits.  I had a couple of minutes until we had to get in the water, and I heard someone call my name, it was my friend Norine! I went over and gave her a hug, and told her I was freaking out a bit. I was so happy to see her, we ran the marathon together last year, and I felt so much better after talking to her.

Then it was time to swim!!!  I got right in, the water wasn't very cold, I kept my head up while I swam, just so I could get my bearings, and be comfortable with my surroundings.  There didn't seem to be many people in my wave.  The swim was a rectangle, and after I got past the first buoy, I put my head down, and got into my swimming groove.  I kept my stroke nice and easy, and found my breathing pattern, and pretended I was  back in the pool.  The swim went by fast.  As I was getting out of the water, I looked up and saw Kelly running onto the sand, she's hardcore, and I knew I had done well because I was only a couple of minutes behind her. *there are rumors floating around that the distance was farther than 600, but I didn't wear my garmin in the water, so I don't know for sure. 

Swim:  600+ meters, 15:49

The run from the lake to transition was long, I dipped my feet in a baby pool to rinse them off, and kept my eyes on the medal bars holding up the screens along the chute, I didn't want to stub my toes or wipe out.  I 
ran right past my bike, backed up, and found my stuff.  Helmet, sunglasses, shorts on, socks, shoes on, GU in the top of my suit, then grabbed the bike, and headed to the exit.

T1  4:31  (I laughed out loud when I saw my time.  What the hell was I doing?  All I can think of was that it was that long run from the beach)

This was the third time I had ridden S's bike, but I was comfortable on it.  I did have to play with the gears throughout the ride, but for the most part, it worked great.  The course was fairly flat, and I was actually passing people, and I got to call out "on your left!" several times.  I tried to keep my speed at 17 mph, but I worried the whole time about getting a flat, I passed a girl who was changing one and felt bad for her.  We had to go over some deep railroad tracks two different times, they were some big bumps.  At about mile 12 we went over a bridge with this crazy grooved metal road, if you could call it that.  I thought "this is it, this is going to blow my tires." but luckily it didn't.  Then it started raining a bit, but it felt good.  I fished the pack of GU out of my top, and sucked it down at mile 15.

Then next thing I new, we were nearing the end of the course.   The roads weren't closed for the race, and I saw a cop yell at a mini van that didn't stop, and at another point, a car went through the group of us, and a girl was stuck on the wrong side of his car, and couldn't get over to where she needed to be. Not cool.

I LOVED cruising down the chute into transition, with everyone yelling, and ringing their cowbells (although whenever I hear a cowbell, I  always think of that SNL episode with Christopher Walken and Will Farrell, and he keeps saying "more cowbell!").

Bike: 18 miles, 1:06:53

I got my bike back where it needed to be, and for some reason, I was trying to take my helmet off in the back.  Then I remembered to unclip it in the front. I swapped it out for a visor, then struggled a bit to put my tank on.  I got to the end of the row, looked at the spectators standing there, and yelled "where do I go?!?!?!"  they started yelling and pointing, so I headed right back to where I came in on the bike, which was pretty close.

T2: 2:03 (okay, that was better)

I kept feeling like I was forgetting something, and I fumbled a bit with G-unit, switching it over from bike mode to run mode, so I wasn't really running as fast as I should. Then I looked up, and saw my friend Sheila there! So I hugged her, then started moving again, then I saw my brother in law Rob (Jeannine's husband) and niece.  After that I had to buckle down and run, which I did, although it was getting pretty muggy out.  I couldn't seem to regulate my breath, but I was moving at a 9:20 pace.  It was an flat out and back along the lake, and again the road was open to cars.  Halfway through I felt like I was getting a cramp, it was just hovering there, waiting to blow.  I saw S with his kids, and I yelled out to him that the bike worked great, and towards the end I saw his wife K, she had already finished.  The last half mile I felt myself slowing down, especially when I came upon a rocky, gravely stretch, and I was determined not to wipe out.  Next thing I knew, I was in the chute, I gave Mike a high five, and crossed the finish!

Run: 3.2 miles, 29:54 (not my best, but I wasted time with G-unit, and getting out of transition)

I met my goal of finishing under two hours, my time was 1:59:10.  I was 98/184 in my division, and 444 out of 1047 finishers.

Whoo hooo!

Me, Jeannine, and Gina, with our medals:

Me, Mike and the kiddos:

I was pretty skanky when I got home:

I spent the rest of the day at the pool, having a bit of champagne, and a grilled cheese and pretzels. Jeannine ate her burger so fast I swear it was gone in 60 seconds.  Mike bought me a cake and ice cream, I scarfed down a half a pint of mint chocolate chip, and admired the flowers I received from my BFF Jennifer:  

This morning I got another gift from Luke and Eliza, they let me sleep until 9:00!!!!!!!

This was the perfect triathlon for a first timer, Iron Girl was well organized, with great volunteers, I thanked as many of them as I could.  

Thanks to everyone for all the luck and supportive comments as I trained for my first triathlon. : ) 

What a day.

I'm still smiling.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Triathlon Pre Race Jitters and Giveaway Winner #2

This morning Luke asked what we were doing this weekend.  I told him I had a race, but it was a race that I had never done before.  After I explained what a triathlon was all about, he asked me "Do you get to rest in between?"  When I said no, he gave me a look and said "Wow."

I'm excited for Saturday.  I've had mixed feelings about doing a triathlon, I never really thought I would do one.  I can't believe it's been 8 months since that New Years Day when I decided to go for it.  I'm definitely nervous, but excited too.  I feel like I'm ready for it.  The one area that I thought I would be the weakest in, the swim, is actually pretty good.  I know what it means to find my rhythm while swimming, the other day I was cruising along so nice and easy, that I rammed right into the end of the lap lane. Sounds about right for me : )

The bike has been a worry, since I've been training on my mountain bike.  I had road tires put on it, but the thing is so heavy that it is a major energy suck for me.  The other day my friend K offered up her husband's road bike for the race.  I was completely surprised.  I took it for a ride today, and holy cow, what a difference.  S is the same height as me, I adjusted the seat a bit, but it feels good.  I had him take the cages off the pedals, I'm not ready to try something new like that for a race.  I'm going to ride it again tomorrow, but I'm 98% sure I'm going to use it for the race.

The run........well, I'm not worried about the run. 

I shouldn't have a time goal for my first sprint triathlon, but I would be happy to complete the race in two hours. I have no idea what to expect, so I'm going to focus on having fun, and enjoying the experience.  But I do have a goal for each leg of the race:

For the swim, I hope to avoid the zebra mussels.  Still debating on whether or not I should put duct tape on my feet.  Probably not, but once I get in the water, I'm going to swim as soon as I can, and for as long as I can.

For the bike, I don't want to do anything that would make me, or someone else, wipe out. 

For the run, I want to remember to take off my helmet.

Wish me luck!!!

Tomorrow is Mike's birthday, so we have a busy day planned, so today I picked the second winner off my fundraising giveaway for The Children's Tumor Foundation. THANK YOU for the new donations I received this week!  You can still donate to enter, until all the prizes are gone.  Using random.org, the winner is Darlene, from My First 5k, Congrats!

Please let me know which two prizes you would like, the sunglasses and compression shirt were picked last week. 

Have a great weekend, happy training, and happy racing!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tommie Copper Compression Review...and a chance to win it!

Are you familiar with this company?

I came across Tommie Copper Compression when I entered a few giveaways for compression sleeves.  I didn't win, but a few weeks later I contacted Tommie Copper to see if they were interested in donating to my fundraising giveaway (which you can find here).  And they were!  Not only did they donate a compression shirt (as shown in the above photo) and sleeves, but they sent me some gear to try out as I train for the NYC Marathon! 

How cool is that?

I first wore the calf sleeves after an 18 mile bike ride.  When I pulled them on, I was surprised at how light and thin the fabric felt.  I'm a huge fan of compression, but between the wiggling and stretching and sweating to get it on, you get a bit of a workout before you even work out.

Tommie Copper uses Therapeutic Copper Compression, it is made from a "revolutionary, proprietary fabric" actually made with copper, and it can be used to reduce pain from all sorts of ailments, by stimulating the muscles, increasing circulation and reducing inflammation.  Which is exactly what someone who is training for both a marathon, and triathlon, needs.

I've worn the sleeves on a few runs, and I have to say, when I was finished with first a 7 miler, and a 6 miler, my legs felt great.  I kept them on for about an hour after each run, to reap their benefits.  I'm planning on wearing the sleeves this weekend, when I race in my first triathlon, Irongirl Syracuse!

I tested out the compression shirt on two shorter runs, and it was comfortable, with smooth seams, and again, that thin fabric.  But the true test was one morning, I woke up after a lousy night sleep, and as I got out of bed, I did a weird twist, that resulted in a painful kink in my back.  You know, one of those shooting aches you get when you're in your late thirties?  I thought I would put the shirt on to see if it would help, and I'm happy I did.  By afternoon, my back was much, much looser, and I felt good enough to......go for a run. 

If you're in need of some comfortable, lightweight, but effective compression, check out Tommie Copper Compression on facebook here, on twitter, here, or their website, here.

AND if you're really curious, check out my fundraising giveaway for The Children's Tumor Foundation, please donate, and you'll have a chance to win some Tommie Copper of your own!!

Note: I was provided with a shirt and calf sleeves for the purpose of this review, the opinions of the product are entirely my own.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Q & A whaddaya say

I'm feeling a bit punchy this morning.  So bear with me while I answer the rest of my Q and A.....

Julie asked:

What is your favorite thing to cook?  I really love to cook in the fall and winter, pots of soup, comfort foods, anything that you can put in a casserole that makes lots of leftovers.

If you could travel anywhere that you have not been where would it be?  Japan.

Miss Zippy also asked about my dream vacation, as well as what's your favorite book?   I have so many it's hard to choose, but Catcher in the Rye and Bridget Jones' Diary are my faves.

EMZ asked:

Your favorite recipe?  This Mediterranean pasta with chicken is reeeeallly good, you can find it here.

Your favorite item of running wear / clothing:  I love my purple camo running skirt and knock around cotton skirt from Old Navy.

What one thing can you never forget to bring on vacation?   Something to read, lots of magazines and book I can get lost in.

BDD asked:

I know your training for your first tri, but I guarantee you been to a bike shop and have seen a bike that your absolutely in love with, what is that bike you highly desire.   I would be happy with anything that has a frame that is lighter than my mountain bike, and the Cervelo bikes look pretty sweet. And light.

Johann asked:

Is running still your favorite sport?  It is, because you can do it anywhere, anytime, and I always feel better after a run. 

What is your greatest long term running/sporting goal?  The NYC Marathon has been a goal of mine for pretty much my whole life.  After I conquer that, I'd like to take on a trail race, or a relay of some sort.

Do you see yourself continue blogging as the years go on?   I do, I've connected with so many great people through blogging, it's such a supportive community that I love being a part of.

Jen asked:

who is your hero, role model or inspiration....we all call those people by different names...but who makes you want to be a better person?

I would have to say my children are my inspiration.  I want them to grow up to be well rounded, happy healthy, people, and I need to strive to be the best version of myself, and hopefully they will learn by my example. 

Colleen asked:

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, and have lunch with them, who would it be?  Hmmmmm. Eddie Vedder.  I love Pearl Jam, plus, he's hot.

Harmony asked:

Ok here is my question? If you could meet up with 5 bloggers to run a race. Who would it be? Where? and Why?

I can't narrow it down to just 5 bloggers, there are five just in New York!  I would love to meet up with everyone in a city where we could have a huge carb filled dinner, then burn it all off the next day with a long run along the ocean where the temperature was a balmy 65 degrees with zero humidity.  Then we would end the day with a round of beers.