Friday, April 29, 2016

RUN-fessions of the Female Kind!

It's that time of the month again!  No, not that time... get your mind out of the gutter.  Lol! 
It's the time of the month where we get to air our dirty little RUNFESSIONS.  I just love this time of the month!  Follow along and read up on some other runfessions from my fellow VRF and blogger Marcia


I'll start off this one with a BANG!  It's was bound to happen anyway.  We've all had those moments where we are out and about on a run and a bathroom is NOWHERE in sight.  Oh no!  What ever will we do?  Just this week, it happened to me for the very first time.  I RUNFESS.... I've never had to pop a squat outside while on a run.  I've come close. VERY close.

Monday, was one of those runs.  I commented to my running partner Heather that I thought I'd have to make a covert pit stop because that ever-growing pit in my stomach was getting too much to handle.  I was actually starting to get quite nervous because there really wasn't a great area to stop.  We were in a housing development no less... I couldn't just squat on someone's property!

Just about the time I didn't think I could wait anymore for the perfect spot to do my business, I turned the corner and.....VOILA!  A beautiful biffy!  It was as if a halo appeared at the top;  it was glowing in the moonlight...calling my name!  Whewh!  I narrowly escaped the inevitable.  At least for now!

You might be a runner if you have NO problem what-so-ever in using one of these!


I also must RUNFESS - I've never run commando.  Apparently, this is the thing to do.  Let it all air out.  No wedgies to speak of.  No chaffing from wet underwear.  Yes, gentlemen... we sweat.  We sweat everywhere.  How else did women coin the terms.... SWASS, SWOOB and SWUSSY??  I'll leave those slang terms to your imagination.

Nonetheless,  last week I received these amazing well-rounded compression shorts from Zensah.  They are a light compression short with a comfy smooth feel.  After a few of my fellow runner friends who were also reviewing these shorts commented on seeing their panty-lines, the company responded that they were designed to be worn commando!  What's that you say?  I'm testing a pair of shorts where its recommended to be without underwear?  I have to admit this is a bit out of my box.  But, I was up for the challenge! 


If you're interested in checking out a pair for yourself you may use CODE:  ZENBIB15 for 15% off! They currently have four different colors. 

And for my last runfession.  I RUNFESS,  I don't shave everyday.  I mean really?!?!  Who has time to shave their arms and legs every damn day?  I sure don't.  Now don't get me wrong,  I'm not an amazon woman.  But, I do confess that days have gone by without a sleek shave.  


For those of you that have been following my blog for a while now,  you know that I run early in the morning.  Because my alarm rings at zero-dark-thirty, 4:45 to be exact,  I always set my clothes out the night before.   In the wee hours of the morning,  I roll out of bed, throw my clothes on and it's GO time!  Recently, I started incorporating more strength training into my workouts.  This has me spending more time at the gym, and that means tank tops and shorts!  WOOHOO!!

Thursday, while doing my overhead press with my dumbbells,  I looked in the mirror and nearly lost my S%$T! 




I literally had a small squirrel under my armpits!  I.JUST.ABOUT.DIED!  A busy gym full of mirrors and hairy armpits!  THE HORROR!  I solemnly swear from now on I will make sure that never happens again!   Who knows... maybe no one took the time to notice,  but I sure did and my arm workout was modified from that point on! 

Have a fantastic Friday! 



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Orange Mud Hydraquiver Single Barrel - Review

Disclaimer:  I received the Orange Mud Hydraquiver Single Barrel hydration vest as part of being a BibRave Pro.  
Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ( ambassador ), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews. 


Currently, I am deep in marathon training.  Now that I am entering week 12,  the long runs are becoming more frequent.  Anyone who knows anything about running knows that hydration and fuel are absolutely imperative to successful training.  This is my very first marathon so I am learning all new tricks to making sure I have the most successful first marathon I possibly can. 

Before I was given the opportunity to test out the hydraquiver, I was using a hydration belt that sits on my hips.  It had been handy and it was getting the job done.  I was able to carry water and it had a small pocket to carry a credit card and my iphone 5.   One major problem however; the constant shifting!  In a shorter run of 6-10 miles, I would have to adjust the belt off my waist several times.  I have the belt strap adjusted to the tightest length and I'm still bouncing that belt high up on my waist. It's gets uncomfortable and annoying having to worry about how long I will run until I have to shift the belt down again on my hips.  

After receiving the Orange Mud Hydraquiver, all of that shifting and hassle has been eliminated!


 
This is the snazziest hydration vest pack!  First of all!  It's PINK!  I know, I know.... it's Orange Mud you say?  Why did you stray from the orange and black?  I love the fact that they had a pink one.  I think it opens the market for more women to love this pack!  If for no other reason than because of it's color alone!

The single barrel is a 25 oz. bottle that fits nicely in it's own holder and is accessible while running.  The only inconvenience for me was the action it required for me to drink.  When I reach my hand back to grab the water, my hand is essentially upside down.  When I bring the bottle back forward I then have to flip it up again to drink.  It really just requires a bit of practice, but clumsy me has dropped it mid-run.  This would not deter me from purchasing one and I certainly would not stop using it.  However, it may deter someone who wants as little distraction as possible while running.  Practice makes perfect and with marathon training there is a lot of time to practice!  Who knew that drinking water on the run could be so tricky?!?

A huge perk with this hydration system is the storage space.  I can literally fit my entire hand into the pocket on the back.  See the photo below.  I actually have even more space in this pack than what is obvious in this picture.  This zipper-pouch is a great place for all of your gear, ie: keys, ID, money, cell phone, extra fuel etc.


I'm also loving the pouches on the front.  They are conveniently located on the front shoulders of the vest on each side.  They fit gels and chews very well, with more than enough space to spare. You can stuff at least two packs of chews into each pocket.  It's definitely more than enough fuel to get you through your long runs.  Insider tip:  I would keep your chews in the bag that it comes in but with the bag open.  I have run with chews both out of the bag and in the bag and they have less opportunity to fall out on the run when they are in the bag as opposed to loose in the pouch on the hydraquiver.  I have yet to try gels, which seem easier to me, but I'm cautious to try anything new before race day.

Another function of these shoulder pockets is their ability to hold a smaller phone. They stretch nicely, so my Iphone 5 fit right in!  There is a small opening in the back that your headphone cord will fit into as well for easy access!  If you look closely, you can see that in the picture above!

 
All in all, this pack is a WINNER!  It will definitely go the distance in with my marathon training!
 
Make sure to join the other bibravepros for our bibchat on Tuesday's at 8pm CST!  We talk all things running and our sponsors give away GREAT gear! 
 


Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Coolest Headphones Around: TREKZ TITANIUM - REVIEW

Disclaimer:  I received TREKZ TITANIUM bone conduction headphones from Aftershokz as part of being a BibRave Pro.  
Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ( ambassador ), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews. 


These headphones are seriously the coolest headphones I have ever owned.  When I was given the opportunity to test the Trekz Titanium headphones I jumped at the chance.  As you can see,  I had a little dance party when they came in the mail! 
video


In Minnesota, the early mornings are dark for about 8 months of the year.  Usually, I don't listen to music because I really want to be aware of all of my surroundings.  I am hyper aware of everything going on around me so music seems to just get in the way.  After receiving these headphones, that all changed!  Now, I don't have to be worried about not hearing what's happening around me when I'm out on the run.   

What makes these headphones unique is their bone conduction technology.  They actually are placed OUTSIDE your ear!  See how I'm wearing them in the picture below!  I have particularly small ear canals, so almost all of the headphones I have tried end up hurting my ears after extended wear.  Sometimes, I can't even wear them the entire time because my ears hurt half-way through my workout! 


My husband even stole them to wear at work in his office the first week I had them.  He was excited because he said that now no one has to hear his music.  He did comment that he thought they were very comfortable but that they didn't have much bass.  I laughed and said there's a reason for that and it's because the purpose of these headphones is to help you HEAR what is going on around you.  

Note: if you want a LARGE sound from your headphones, these are not then ones for you.   However, if you want to be able to watch a movie or listen to tunes while working out.... these will be great!  There is also an equillizer function that helps you increase bass and if you want more sound, you can use earplugs to block out the ambient noise around you.

Over the course of my evaluation of these headphones, I have gotten asked a lot of questions. First is if they shift and are comfortable while wearing them.  I assure you they absolutely are!  They fit my head pretty darn good but if yours are a bit too big,  you can use the adjusting straps to help them fit your head.  I never have had trouble with the headphones shifting while running or strength training! 

Another question that has been asked is if they are waterproof.  Unfortunately, NO.  However, they are sweat-proof and do well with rigorous exercise.  I have gotten the most use out of them on the treadmill.  Not because I don't like running outside, but because I've been nursing a leg injury.  This picture was taken during a 4 mile run, and I had absolutely no slippage of any kind and they have great sound.  


I bet you're wondering how they work?  They are bluetooth enabled and sync with any device you'd like.  The sync process takes about 60 seconds, and voila!  You're ready to go!  Did I mention you can talk and make phone calls with these bad boys?  The left ear piece has a multi-function button and it controls all of your tasks.  Make sure to save the instruction booklet just in case! I've had to brush up on a few commands since receiving the headphones.  


Just a push of the button will play, pause, skip, answer and voice dial.  Aren't these the coolest?  They plug in to charge via USB right into an adapter in your outlet.  I have yet to charge mine.  The battery life is great!  They also come in a few different colors. 

A few specs are below: 

- Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds

- Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability

- OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear

- PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass

- Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing

- LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage

- IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather

- Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge 

- EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go

- Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech

- Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk

- Hassle-free 2-year warranty

You won't be disappointed with these headphones!  For a limited time all orders receive 20% off with CODE: BIBRAVE20. 

Don't forget to check out our bibchat on Tuesday's at 8 pm CST.  You are always eligible to win cool prizes.  This week the sponsor is none other than Aftershokz!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wait...... What Training?!?!?!

Grandma's Marathon Training 
Week 9 

Running didn't happen this week.  It's true and confirmed.  Sports med doctor says, femoral neck stress reaction.  BOO!


I poke fun at this meme.  Mentally, I'm doing OK.  I DO need to run, but I'm keeping myself busy with cross training and other cardio ie: the elyptical.   My marathon is 10 weeks away and I have another two weeks of solid no running.   Doctor said she wants a total of 4 weeks complete rest from running.   When I told her I had a race this weekend, her response was "No you don't".  Then the runner in me said "Well, I wasn't planning on actually RACING it."  She laughed and said "NO" again.  If I dwell on the fact that I can't run,  I will go absolutely crazy! 

A good friend of mine said... would you rather run Goldy's this weekend or Grandma's Marathon in June?  My response was "Ha!  That's like asking me if I'd save my child from a burning building."  I do have a flare for the dramatic - all my friends will tell you that.  BUT, the fact is... Grandma's is my ultimate prize, so if I have to scratch some races I signed up for then so be it.  It's just money.... right?!?!  Oh wait... let me just throw that money right out of the window.


The doctor was very pleased that I had already taken two weeks off to nurse my leg.   She said that put me two weeks farther ahead with my healing process.  She sounded confident that I would make it to the starting line on June 18th,  so I'm going to clear my head of the negativity and enjoy the other aspects of working out. 

The week was pretty much status quo.  Nothing uber exciting happened with my training.  I'm now up to a 1 minute and 40 second plank!  Wahoo!  It's pretty funny as I near the end of the plank because I make crazy noises trying to hold the pose for 10 more seconds.   I can feel that I'm getting stronger so that's good anyway.

This weekend, I had Goldy's 10 Mile around the University of Minnesota campus.  It's my alma mater, so I was very excited to run the race.  Oh wait... I can't run.  I seriously considered not showing.  That's where that throwing money out the window again comes in.  But, I put on my big girl panties and walked the 5K distance!  It was 19 degrees.  IN APRIL!  Basically, I froze my you know whats off!  I still managed to have a fabulous time!  One of the most fun race experiences of all.  See why from my last post here.  

This was my first ever race that I didn't run.   It was humbling to say the least.  I was seriously jealous of all of the runners crossing the finish line.  The last 1/4 mile ran around the stadium with the finish line ending at the 50 yard line.  It was super cool and would have been great to run down the chute.


On a different note, it always seems that your nutrition takes a nose dive when you're not doing as much exercise.  I know with all the Easter candy still left in the house mine nutrition has been awful.  What's that you say?  Of course not!  I would NEVER hide in my pantry away from my kids so they don't see me eating their candy. 


Once my training gets off and running again, I will have 10 weeks of training, with the last week being taper.  My trainer tells me not to worry about missing 4 weeks in the middle.   In the meantime,  I'll look forward to linking up the blog for the Weekly Wrap with Holly and Tricia.  I love to read my fellow bloggers wraps for the week too!



Saturday, April 9, 2016

THE BRF's - Best Running Friends


Have you ever met someone for the first time and instantly knew that you were just destined to be friends?  You don't skip a beat, you practically complete each other's sentences, and there's never a quiet moment in between all of the smiles, laughter and shenanigans?   Insert:  Lisa and Kari!

I'm sure they'll kill me for posting this. :)  he he

We laughed so hard we cried today.  We froze our assess off.  We ate good food.  We formed a new friendship.  All this while bringing in one commonality:  RUNNING!  Don't get me wrong, these girls were not compete strangers.  BUT, we had never run a race together and we really were all but just acquaintances.  Something tells me that after today, that all changed.  

Goldy's 10 mile was today.  An absolutely freezing 19 degrees on April 9th.  Really Minnesota?  Can you just bring on Spring already?  I "almost" cancelled my meet-up with Lisa and Kari because I have an injury that is forcing me to rest.  I was supposed to run the 10 mile and was feeling a bit sorry for myself.  Do I want to drive all the way downtown to the race?  Will it be any fun if I can't run?  After a little thought, I just didn't want to miss the race, and I didn't want to miss hanging out with the girls, so I decided I would walk the 5K instead.

Even though it was colder than a witches titty outside, the day was an absolute blast!  As an added bonus, I ran into a very close friend of mine who was also walking the 5K.  Unexpectedly, we had 45 minutes of uninterrupted girl talk and it was fabulous!  So great to see Sarah!  Sarah is one of those friends that I used to text about 20 times per day.  Family life, kids and work sort of snuck in and well.... you all know how that turns out.  We don't see each other nearly enough.  But, she's the type of friend that when you see each other again, you really don't ever skip a beat!  Love you girl! 



Once I finished the race, I knew that I'd also get to cheer on another VRF - virtual running friend who would be crossing the 10 mile finish line soon after I finished my 5K walk.  I only had to wait about 10 minutes and Teresa came cruising through the field to the finish!  This is my first "official" meet-up with her and I was so excited to talk in person, rather than just on the blog or social media!  I knew I'd love her just by her running tights!  We were wearing the same pair! :)  She has a great blog too!  Make sure to check her out at www.neonismycolor.com

  
She's running BOSTON next week, so look for her recap soon! 

Ok, so back to the shenanigans with Kari and Lisa!  I swear, these girls are the real deal.  Honest, hilarious, witty, and smart!  Real girls who love to run.  We talked about any and everything today - no stone left un-turned.  Because I don't reveal ALL of my secrets,  I won't go in to all the details of our crazy day.  

But, my point is:  you find friends in some of the best most unexpected places.   Open yourself up to new challenges and open your heart to new people.  Had I still been feeling sorry for myself, I wouldn't have even gone to the race.  I wouldn't have had all this fun and I would be so excited for the future to race with these girls!

I smell more running time in our future.  I hear more laughter.  I for SURE predict more shenanigans!!  Enjoy the Bridesmaid references below :)  What are friends for if you can't share the good, the bad and the ugly.  Instant BRF's were made today and I'm excited for our journey in the future.


To my amazon women......may we have many more wonderful adventures together.   Something tells me it's inevitable.   




Sunday, April 3, 2016

Marathon Training --- BUSTED. Week 7 & 8 was a WASH!

It's that time of the week again.  I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly
for their Weekly Wrap! 


I took a week off from the blog to sulk about my leg injury.  I know, pretty pathetic.  I was feeling up to my weekly diary post today and love linking up, so I'm all over the map with this entry.

NEVER GIVE UP.  My mantra during this crappy time.  Somehow three weeks ago, I injured myself.  No real "incident" but it forces me into a corner just 11 short weeks away from my first marathon. In my daily life, I'm very positive.  I have a zest for life and I love people.  I love running. 

Well, the mack-truck hit me with full force and that voice in my head said STOP!!  I knew that if I didn't completely stop running I would be even worse off. 

I made a mental note to completely stop all weight-bearing cardio until April 9th;  my next race. 10 miles.  That would make 15 days of complete rest.  Today is day 8 of rest.  Even thought I still have some "pain" or "weakness" on my inner thigh with pressure, I feel progress.  I'm keeping positive.   

Without intense cardio, the past few weeks, I have focused on areas that were lacking with my fitness.  I'm loving the pull up machine.  Some day I'll do one unassisted for sure.   I also purchased my very FIRST foam roller.  I know.... you're all mentally slapping me on the forehead like I'm in a V8 commercial.  Seriously, it's okay... hit me on the forehead.  After 4 YEARS of running.... I'm now FINALLY getting a foam roller. 

I do love it and everyone tells me it works wonders so I'm finally listening.  I focus on rolling my sore leg and stretching daily and I have promised myself to run even 5 minutes less to get a good stretch in before I head to work.


Instead of my early morning runs at 5AM, I'm now going to the gym and doing ellyptical and bike.  I don't have any selfies though because it's hard to get those in action, but I'm trying to keep some cardio up.  One perk of actually "going" to the gym is actually USING the gym.  I'm so used to getting outside that I now have the opportunity to use free weights and machines weekly that I've not focused on before.  And.. BONUS - I get my health care reimbursement because I can swipe my gym card. 

How many of you miss your reimbursements because you don't swipe enough times?

A few non-fitness related items the past few weeks.  My creative mother-in-law had a special bunny waiting for me at Easter this year.   She was complete with a headband, race bib and race watch!  She competed in the Bunny Hop 5K. 



I also had a parenting first this weekend.  Took a picture for photo documentation!  This is my 6-year old.

He is my difficult "listener."  I asked him to put his shoes on so that we could go to the store for my mantle project.  I always decorate my mantle for the seasons and holidays.  We were standing in the check-out line and I realized..... YUP!  He put on his shoes alright!! He was the talk of the all the ladies at Michael's and he felt pretty darn special.  I'm hoping this doesn't happen on the regular, but things could be worse and it definately makes for a great memory.


Here's the finished project.  My husband made the mirror for me this Fall and I love putting new wreaths on it for the seasons. 

That's all for the last two weeks.  Weeks 7 and 8 didn't get much running in.  I've ran a total of 15 miles in 14 days.  I'm focusing more on weight training and trying to focus my mind on NOT driving me crazy.

It's 11 weeks until I toe that starting line at Grandma's.  You better believe I'm going to be there!