Category Archives: Equipment and Gear

The Workout Day That Made Me Ready to Blog Again

I am finally done being pulled down by injuries and am working hard to get back to where I was pre-accident, especially when it comes to running speed. This, combined with an awesome workout in nature on Wednesday, has made me ready to come back to this blog.

So what was so great about Wednesday’s workout?

While visiting a friend in Ohio, I headed to Caesar Creek State Park with 2 competitive bike riders for a fun day on the trails. We ran a trail loop and started some active stretching, comparing favorite moves and discussing dynamic vs. static stretching (side bar: my opinion is strongly for dynamic before working out and static after). We showed off different kinds of push ups. Then we headed to tackle some hill sprints… Actually hill sounds so weak compared to the long, steep, grassy slope before us.20121020-122422.jpg

After just one hill sprint of death each, it was back to the trails for a fast 3 mile run.

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Still not worn out, we grabbed my new weight vest and the fun really started: stairs, burpees, pistols (one-legged squats) and anything else we could come up with.

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We rounded the day out with another mile in the trails — me wearing the weighted vest — and some static stretching.20121020-122500.jpg

It was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect, the scenery amazing and the company motivational. It was the kind of day worth writing about!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Equipment and Gear, General Fitness, Running, Weight Training

Check Out My New Sponsor: JACO Clothing!

Making connections with companies is every athletes dream. Once you start winning, you start hoping for sponsors.

I am excited to announce that one of my new sponsors for 2012 is a clothing company that I love: JACO Clothing!

Beyond comfortable, cute clothes, JACO also follows four core values that I am happy to support and honored to know that, in choosing to sponsor me, JACO feels that I embody:

Respect for yourself, for others, and for the environment

Strength in mental fortitude

Courage to do what others only dream of doing

Tenacity with the ability to view failure as a valuable part of the journey

** One more exciting announcement … They want you to benefit from my sponsorship, too! When ordering, use the code “WELCOME15” and you will get 15% off your purchase! Start shopping!

 

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Post Race Recovery

Running fast around a 160-meter track (indoors are typically 200; outdoors, 400) sucks. Luckily for me and my lactic acid-filled legs, I was headed to the Endurance Sports Expo right after my races.

Meet the SportPump — yes, my legs are inside of these monster ski boots. Once they started their cycle, I received a 5-minute compression massage, as the air pockets around me were inflated and deflated slowly and repeatedly.

I’ll have to let you know later if there’s a recovery difference (since I am blogging from the chair, legs still getting massaged) but I know so far I already feel more relaxed.

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A New Day, A New Race, and Two New Pairs of Shoes

Check out my awesome, brightly colored shoes that I am trying out today at an indoor track meet!

I warmed up in the blue and green Scotts and will be putting on the pink and blue Saucony spikes for the mile and 2 mile.

Wish me luck!

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Why and How I Ran 8.4 Miles on a Grey, Slushy Day

I just finished an 8.4-mile loop around the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. It’s about 30 degrees out, grey and alternating between rain and snow. And I loved it.

It was my first solo long run since returning to longer distances. I was supposed to get 30 miles in this week and I need 8 more today to hit that mark. I could have skipped it. I could have let the weather keep me in as an easy excuse. But I want “it” so bad and being lazy and missing the mark is not the way to get “it”.

Let’s make the hows and whys of this run into a list, because lists are just plain more fun to read, right?

10 Random Things About Running 8.4 Miles in Yucky Weather in No Particular Order

1. Very few other people are on the running path. There are no crowds, no bikers asking you to move over, no annoying walkers (or worse, boat people!) meandering across in your way. Just you and the other hardcore/crazy runners.

2. After the halfway point, you kind of get delirious. I was laughing for no reason or perhaps at myself for being such a fitness fool.

3. You cannot deny yourself a lazy night on the couch afterwards. There are no guilty feelings about how you could be doing something more productive.

4. I did the loop. Once you head out around the 8.4-mile loop around the river, there’s no turning back.

5. Since I have been fighting shin splints, I spent some time after mile 1 doing some walking, dynamic stretching. It was a wonderful decision and made for a better run than last week’s miserably slow warm up.

6. At my midpoint, a tall, skinny guy turned around right in front of me. So I decided to run with him. He was just a little faster than me so I pushed myself to keep up. Thanks for letting me be a creeper and run 2 feet behind you for 2 miles, Mr. Spandex Runner Man.

7. Playing “Ketchup Fartleks” is fun and was possible today because of number one. For miles 6 and 7 I raced to catch up to the runner in front of me. When I caught her, I slowed down. When she got far ahead of me again, I raced back up to her. My apologies to the slow but steady girl that was involuntarily part of this game.

8. Podcasts. They are a must for me for solo long runs. Today I listened to episodes from Savage Love Cast and How Stuff Works.

9. I bought new, expensive compression pants right before. New clothes can inspire me to do anything. Shout out to the lovely saleswomen at Philly’s City Sports for helping me pick an awesome pair and to CW-X for making these wonderful tights. Up top, I donned my new fave all-purpose jacket: the Lululemon Stride Jacket.

10. Pink always helps me sprint the last mile with gusto. A little “F*ckin’ Perfect”, a little “Raise Your Glass” and a lot of speed in my tired legs.

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Throw Away Your Cotton Sports Bra!

Ladies, for the love of the sensitive skin beneath your breasts, please throw away your cotton sports bras. Even if you only keep them around for emergency use during laundry day, and intend to never do a hard workout in them, throw them away now before you end up like me with a painful, raw chafe mark from the cotton bra’s band.

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“Working” Out Is a Deceptive Name for Fitness

I work all day. Why would I then want to go to the gym and work some more?

If you aren’t a “gym person”, or even if you are but ever feel like your exercising is monotonous or boring, or even if you are just a person in general … get out and play like a kid!

Fitness should be fun. We’re already getting the mood-boosting benefits of exercise so why not make it extra fun by just letting loose, forgetting the rules, and leaving the notebook and pen in the classroom.

Join a recreational league like the Manayunk Sports and Social Club.

Get friends together for an impromptu pick-up game of anything from basketball to small ball to running relays like a school kid (trust me, everyone will have fun once you get started). How about a game of Twister or energetic charades?

Or still go to the gym but move around like a kid with ADD. Don’t count reps. Don’t have a plan. Don’t worry about hitting certain muscle groups or not. Just look up, see what catches your eye and use it to do something. Any thing. Get playful!

My friend Sunshine and I did this before and had a blast. We warmed up with jump roping to one song and dynamic stretches to a second, then we just went. It was so much fun and everyone mindlessly moving around the gym with their plans and notebooks looked on in envy of our fun.

A few things we did:

Played catch with a medicine ball while standing on a BOSU

Monkey bars and pull ups

Kettlebell moves

Lots of different jumping … up, over, around; really far and really high

Burpees with a medicine ball

Push ups

 

Just HAVE FUN and PLAY like a kid! It fully counts as an excellent workout. In fact, I was quite sore the next day!

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