25 February 2014

Training Tuesday - Ink n Burn review

Here's this week's recap:

Tuesday, February 18:
5 miles in 56:31.  Avg pace: 11:17mm.  Intervals of 3/:45.  A little faster than what the schedule called for, but it was a bit chilly getting started, and it was a great day to just run.  Didn't pay much attention to the watch.

Wednesday, February 19:
Round of disc golf with friends.

Thursday, February 20:
Rest day.  Travel to Jacksonville.

Friday, February 21:
2.21miles in 29:05.  No real plan on this, just running with cool people for the #runDONNAmeetup.  Got to meet Donna Deegan, namesake of the 26.2 with Donna, the National Marathon for Breast Cancer, and Joan Benoit-Samuelson, the first women's Olympic marathon gold medalist.

Saturday, February 22:
Rest day. Worked at expo.

Sunday, February 23:
26.43miles in 5:37:51.  Ran the 26.2 with Donna marathon.  The weather started out great, but then turned sour around mile 21 when it started raining.  Began with 2:30/1:00 intervals, but ended up walking most of the last 6 miles due to the weather and tight muscles.  Recap to follow.

Monday, February 24:
Rest day.  Travel to Washington, DC.

Last week's winner of a 4-pack of Nuun (your choice) is: Ramona S.  Congratulations!!

This week I want to talk about Ink n Burn.  I was recently named a new ambassador for Ink n Burn and I am so excited to be a representative of this great company!

My #CorralG bestie Linzie first introduced me to Ink n Burn.  Their gear is fabulously awesome and amazingly stylish.  When I was out in California for the Disneyland Dumbo Challenge weekend last year, Linzie made sure I went to the InB tent sale and I stocked up!  I had gotten my first piece - the Cherry Blossom tech t-shirt - back in April to wear for my first Cherry Blossom 10-miler.  At the sale, I added two skirts, three more tech t-shirts, and a long sleeve shirt.

Me and Ambassador Linzie rocking our
Ink n Burn for 26.2 with Donna

The artwork on all InB pieces is beautiful and even the ones that aren't "my style" are visually stunning.  Here's what the company has to say about the artwork:

Not only is it striking and vibrant, we also choose subject matter that is meaningful to us. It isn't just a picture; it says something about what is important to us. For instance, our Flutter design was inspired by the butterfly - seemingly delicate and fragile thing, but some are known to travel over 2,500 miles over the course of their lifetime. The surprising strength, beauty and endurance in that little body is inspiring to us and made great subject matter for our apparel. For many the butterfly is also a symbol of metamorphosis.

The other thing that is great about InB is the actual product.  Their apparel is so comfortable, yet durable.  And it goes great from a run to an outing.  I loved pulling on my InB stuff after the Disneyland 10K and going to the parks in it.  I've also added the Brave capris to my wardrobe and rocked those a few times for Christmas.  Another share from the company about the product:

First of all, we make everything at our warehouse in Southern California with mature, experienced US workers.   We start with the best quality technical performance fabrics we can find.  We buy all white fabric to use as our canvas and then cut each panel needed to make up the garment. 

Almost every seam in our tech shirts is sewn twice to ensure strength and also to ensure the seams are flat in any places where they might chafe or rub.  The neckband on the back of our shirts contains the usual tag info back of your neck, without a scratchy tag.  We use the softest threads available to be sure our shirts are the most comfortable you will ever wear.

All of our styles are tested on ultra runners at extreme distances.  While we started designing for ultra runners, we now have people running in our apparel for all distances, as well as yoga, golf, tennis, MMA, crossfit and biking to name just a few.  We recently heard that our apparel is a favorite for surgeons to wear under their scrubs in the OR because of their comfort and breathability!

So, to recap, Ink n Burn is a fashionable product, manufactured here in the USA, made of quality materials that will last.  If you haven't tried Ink n Burn yet, I highly recommend checking it out.  And the awesome thing is I have a discount code for first timers available - create your Ink n Burn account, and use code 'INBKP14' to get 15% off your first order.  And remember - you always get free shipping with orders of $150!

Linzie, me, and Marcia on course rocking Ink n Burn

18 February 2014

Training Tuesday - Nuun giveaway

Here's a (brief) recap of this week's workouts:

Tuesday, February 11:
Snopocalyse has returned.  That and my lethargy after a long day at work.  No workout today.

Wednesday, February 12:
Thought I was going to get on the bike today... but no.

Thursday, February 13:
Finally got on the bike!  Snow continues to plague us, so this was the only way I was getting in a workout - at least until the weekend.
Broke it up into three segments, mainly because of a few issues getting going, but also, riding the trainer is HARD!
Segment 1: 15min, Avg Cadence 54.41, Avg HR 142
Segment 2: 15min, Avg Cadence 70.40, Avg HR 139
Segment 3: 30min, Avg Cadence 70.48, Avg HR 137
For some reason, the TomTom doesn't register speed and distance inside, even with cadence sensor (and correct wheel size).  I thought that not having the wheel size input was why it wasn't registering during the first segment, so I stopped to fix that.  Then it didn't work on the second segment either.  For the third, I finally got my iPad to connect to the wireless so I could do a BitGym workout.

Friday, February 14:
5 miles in 51:46.  Avg pace: 10:20mm.  Intervals of 3:00 running, 0:45 walking.

Saturday, February 15:
9 mile bike ride in 48:50.  Avg speed: 11.2mph
Apparently, you cannot do cadence AND speed.  So my TomTom information is not helpful, but I did use RunKeeper.  It was much colder/windier than I anticipated, so cut it short because my hands and feet were going numb.

Sunday, February 16:
So excited to get out again with Jason for my long run this week.  We ventured to another new venue - this time the Alpharetta Greenway.  End to end it was perfect for this week's 8 miles.
Ran 8 miles in 1:35:18. Avg pace: 11:50mm.  Intervals of 3:00 running, 0:45 walking.

Monday, February 17:
Rest day!

I realized I've been a little long-winded in the last few posts, so I'm going to try to be quick this week.

I wanted to share my love of Nuun this week.  What's Nuun you ask?  It is an electrolyte replacement tab - just toss one in to your REUSABLE water bottle, and let it fizz for two minutes.  Now you're ready to go with a sugar free electrolyte beverage.

A lot of my friends have been avid Nuun users for awhile.  I wasn't sold on the idea for the longest time.  When I first started running, I relied on blue Powerade to replenish my fluids after a run.  Then I shifted to Powerade Zero, although Diet Diva Tara said not to drink the diet versions, because you need the real stuff.  I think I had tried Nuun when I worked at Big Peach, but it was a flavor I wasn't really fond of, so I never ended up making the switch.

Last year, on one of my visits to run with Krissy (back when we both lived in Virginia), she had Kona Kola Nuun.  It was right after that flavor had come out and everyone was talking about how it tasted like Coke!  Well, she was gracious enough to share a tab with me.  It wasn't the same as Coke, but I could see how the fizz was making people say that.  And this time the flavor was a little better.  My marathon friend Jill also let me try some when we went to hot yoga together, and this time I found a flavor I really liked - Strawberry Lemonade.  I also keep Watermelon and Cherry Limeade (caffeinated) in my stock, but Strawberry Lemonade is my ABSOLUTE favorite.  When I see Nuun at an expo, I try some of the other flavors, but I always come back to Strawberry Lemonade.

I am now a Nuun convert - even becoming an official "Nuun Fan" this year!  I typically have at least one water bottle of Nuun each day, and especially make sure to have it with me on a long run.  I am super excited to be able to GIVEAWAY a four-pack of your choice to the winner of my Rafflecopter giveaway.  What are you waiting for?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 February 2014

Training Tuesday - Handana Review

Here's a recap of my workouts for the week:

Tuesday, February 4:
kept thinking I was going to do some weight training today, but got distracted by other things.  Worked the dinner shift and then was going to come home and get on the bike - but after I ate dinner at 9pm, it didn't seem like it made sense to get sweaty.

Wednesday, February 5:
Managed a little speed work today.  1mi warm up, 2mi at 10:40mm pace, 1/2 mile recovery, 2mi at 10:40mm pace, 1/2 mile recovery, 1/2mi cool down
I am still trying to figure out how to determine pacing.  I've got my watch, and I try to monitor my pace on the watch.  But going back and looking at the workout, whether on watch tracking or RunKeeper tracking, the pace looks a little different (and even different between apps).  Any ideas/suggestions?
Love how great I'm feeling even when pushing the speed.
No time for yoga or foam rolling after the run, but did have my post-run smoothie and a bottle of Nuun.  Will stretch tonight before bed.

Thursday, February 6:
I thought about getting up early to run before work, knowing I wasn't going to have a chance to run the rest of the day.  But as I got in bed Wednesday night, I realized I hadn't set my alarm early enough to actually get in a run, and by that point I wasn't getting up to change it.  I did manage to get 10,000+ steps in for the day, but no run.

Friday, February 7:
Squeezed in a 5K while on a conference call - no real attention to pace, just ran when I could and walked when I had to contribute to the conversation! hahaha.  I'm supposed to be in taper anyway ;)

Saturday, February 8:
Got up to cheer on my friends in a local 10K, but took today as a rest day.  Did walk down to the race, so got in my 10,000 steps for the day.

Sunday, February 9:
We had gorgeous weather today - perfect for a 12 mile long, slow run.  Met up with Jason in the afternoon to hit a new trail together.  It did get a little warm in the middle, but we had a good time.  Took the Handana out for a spin again.
12 miles in 2:23..  Avg pace:
This week I went a little later in the day.  So my pre-race fuel, included a bowl of Peanut Butter Cheerios before church, then a whole wheat english muffin and natural peanut butter right before heading out for the run.  I also had 20 ENERGYbits with my cereal, and a cup of coffee.
On run nutrition: a Fig Bar from a runDisney post-race kit at mile 5.  3 Clif Bloks at mile 9.  Cherry Limeade Nuun.  Some Blue PowerAde when my Nuun ran out and the water fountains weren't on to refill my bottles.  Thanks to Jason for sharing his electrolytes!
Post-run fueling: this got a little messed up thanks to a flat tire.  I did have some Jelly Belly Sport Beans - Recovery Crisps and a PowerBar Vanilla Protein Bar in the car to have once I finished, knowing I was driving home, and not getting anything in my system right away otherwise.  I also had more Nuun in the car.  Unfortunately, I got a flat tire and ended up waiting 1.5 hours for AAA to come help me change the tire (seriously, all he did was kick the tire, because I had already gotten the car jacked and the bolts off, but then couldn't get the tire off the car!).  This messed up my usual post-run plans.  As soon as I got home (after 8pm) I made tacos for dinner.  Then it was time for foam rolling, yoga, and a shower before icing.  And can I just say how happy my feet are that my Foot Rubz has returned!

Monday, February 10:
Worked a long day, but essentially today was a "rest" day.

Last week's winner of the tin of ENERGYbits is: Lindsay M.  Congratulations!

This week, I want to share my review of Handana.  This is a product I have been wanting to try to over a year.  When I found out I won the Boston entry, I reached out to them to see if they would be willing to send me a Handana to review on my Training Tuesday posts, and they were so gracious to send me a Boston-inspired one!

Boston-inspired Handana

I can't remember when I heard about or saw Handana for the first time, but I immediately knew it was something I wanted.  I'm not afraid to say it - I'm a heavy sweater, especially in the summer months.  In the winter, I don't really sweat, but I need my thumb-hole sleeves to wipe my nose.  This may be a little gross and TMI, but I know I'm not the only one with these issues (although apparently my BRF does NOT get a runny nose in the winter).  But in the summer, when I'm wearing my tanks, I need something to wipe the sweat from my face.  

That's where Handana comes in.  You slide it on over your hand and you're ready to go.  
My Nike Thumb-Hole Pullover
I was sent a medium, but I feel like I'm on the cusp between small/medium.  I've tried on the small at an expo, and it didn't feel too tight.  The medium felt a little large - I would have liked it to be a little more snug around my wrist, but I also have small wrists.  The other thing I noticed - compared to my thumb-hole sleeves - is that it doesn't come down onto your fingers as much.  In the summer, I'm sure that I'll love having as little fabric as possible on my hand, but for now, I wished it was a little longer just to give me more room for the sweat.  I said it before - I sweat A LOT!  

I took the Handana out for two runs this week.  The first run was Monday with speed work.  The temp was probably in the 50s to 60s.  It was great to just slip it on and go - and be able to wipe my brow with ease while running.  I am right handed, but for some reason I typically like to wear everything on my left hand.  Oh right - quick side note - they come in singles, so if you want one for each hand, make sure to order two!  With my watch being on my left wrist, however, I ended up sliding the Handana on my right hand.  It's versatile in the sense that there isn't a "right" or "left" to worry about.  The fabric is really soft and comfortable for wiping your face.  No worries about scratching yourself.  The seems are smooth too.  

The second run I tested Handana on was my long run on Sunday - 12 miles.  I did wash the Handana during the week, actually hoping it might shrink a little bit, but it stayed the same size.  It still fit great, and even though I got a little warm wearing capris and a t-shirt for my 63 degree run, my hand never felt hot.  It did soak up A LOT of sweat on 12 miles, so I'd definitely want to have 2 for long run days.  Also, for me, some times it's easier to wipe with my left hand, and I didn't have that option without moving the Handana from hand to hand.  So, yeah, I would recommend having at least two in your running wardrobe.

All in all, I give Handana 2 thumbs up for awesomeness!  And the great thing is the story behind the product.  From the website:
Handana was created by Katie Niemeyer as a solution to inefficiency cotton sports wristbands.  
At 16 Katie developed SJS, a severe allergic reaction to medication that can happen to anyone.  She found herself in the burn unit, with 2nd and 3rd degree burns, after being on a new prescription for three weeks.  She fought hard to survive the experience,  spending three weeks in the hospital recovering.  She managed to fully recover, although some who are diagnosed with SJS can experience blindness, lung or kidney problems, joint issues, or even infertility.  Katie's development of Handana isn't just to solve her own problem or share her solution with others, but to bring awareness to the condition of SJS.  
As a Stevens-Johnson(SJS) survivor, her eyes were very sensitive, and she found it difficult to focus on training for her first marathon while sweat was dripping into and burning her eyes.  Hats, headbands and sweatbands helped, but in the Texas heat, sweat dripped causing extreme pain and providing an excuse to stop her workouts.  With the marathon a few months away, she needed a solution.
That's when Handana was born.  Her idea was to create a high-performance, fashionable wristsweatband for running and sports that wraps around your hand allowing you to use both sides of your Handana hand to wipe sweat from your neck or forehead.   
Handana comes in an array of fabulous colors, and I am so thankful that Katie has given me a code to share with readers for 10% off your purchase.  Just use the code "HandanaFriends2013" to get your discount.  This code is only available this week, so put in your order today.  And in case you miss your chance to order, check out Handana at the expo for Princess Weekend next week, or at the GO! Health and Fitness Expo in St. Louis in April.   

Thanks again to Katie for sending me a free product to review.  All opinions are my own.  

04 February 2014

Training Tuesday - #poweredbybits

Thanks for joining me on this second Training Tuesday post of my quest to Boston.  Here's how this week's workouts went:

Tuesday, January 28:

Atlanta had a FREAK snow storm, that started around 11am.  I have been so lazy with not having a job, that I didn't manage to get up early enough to get in a run before it started.  And there was no going out in it.  I did manage a walk with my sister to find her boyfriend, who had abandoned his car and was walking home, but nothing more.

Wednesday, January 29:

Things were a little better today, but not good enough to run outside.  The gym was closed, so I opted for the next best thing - riding on the trainer.  I am having trouble getting my TomTom Multi Sport cadence sensor to work, so I just did 30 minutes easy (~72rpm) with a great new app called BitGym.  This cool app has a variety of tours that you can play on your iPad so it looks like you're actually outside working out.  I highly recommend checking it out, even after just one workout!

Thursday, January 30:

I wanted so bad to get up and go for a run this morning.  However, last night I got a call that I would be starting work today, which put a damper on my plans.  I set the alarm and had every intention of going, but it was only 10 degrees when I got up at 8:30.  I'm just not prepared for that, and also wasn't sure the sidewalks would be clear.  I was about to head off to the gym when I got some exciting news from a friend, and then missed my window of opportunity to go before work.  And then I worked a 10 hour shift.  So while I hit 10,000 steps for the day, I did not actually "work out."  This #snowpocalypse is really cutting into my training schedule!

Friday, January 31:

Finally got out for a run!  I missed my speed work and midweek mile runs, but decided to stay "on plan" with a 5 mile run today.  My sister has Fridays off and suggested I run over to her house, which is a new route for me.  It turned out being a little short - only 4.25 miles - but it was more hilly than my usual route.  So I called it a "hill workout" and made it a day.

Saturday, February 1:

Headed out to Stone Mountain for an 18 mile run with Jason.  Got there and realized I'd forgotten to charge my watch, so just used RunKeeper.
18 miles in 3:44.52.  Average pace: 12:20mm
Breakfast: 30 ENERGYbits, sourdough english muffin with natural peanut butter. McDonald's medium coffee with 4 cream and 1 Splenda (we didn't have coffee at home)
On run nutrition: 2 clif bloks at mile 5; 2 clif bloks at mile 8; 1/2 a coconut chocolate chip clif bar at mile 10; 10 ENERGYbits at mile 12; water and Cherry Limeade Nuun throughout.  
Post run nutrition: Vanillia Lean Shake made with water; 1/2 a coconut chocolate chip clif bar; 2 clif bloks.  Also made a shake once I got home: chocolate peanut butter Lean Shake, 1 banana, 1 C coconut milk, 1 TBSP natural peanut butter.

Was short on time, so did a shortened yoga and foam rolling routine before heading to work for a 5.5 hour shift.  No icing/compression except I wore my Adidas compression socks under my jeans to work.

Sunday, February 2:

Took a true rest day - including a two hour nap!

Monday, February 3:
After work, went out for my Yasso 800s.  My watch only works in either miles or kilometers, not both, so since I wasn't at the track I got a little confused with the conversion math.  Did a shortened warm up/cool down, with 6x800 speed, and 4oo recovery in between.  Avg pace (in mph - from RunKeeper): 9:50.  Also got to take my Handana out for a spin - check out the blog next week for a full review!
Also went to Big Peach group run tonight, since they had Hoka in to let us test drive the new models - very nice ~5K spin in those!
Did a full foam rolling and yoga session after I got home.

This week I want to highlight my training partner, ENERGYbits.  Back in the fall, I was honored to join the #poweredbybits team.  My good friend Linzie introduced me to this amazing product and I've been so grateful for the recommendation. 

So what exactly are ENERGYbits?  ENERGYbits are 100% spirulina algae, with the highest concentration of protein in the world (64% protein).  They help satisfy cravings and give you a constant stream of energy, instead of a quick spike followed by the epic crash.  They are easy to take; in fact the new campaign is #itsOKtoswallow!   Every morning, I take 20 bits to start my day, popping 4 at a time with a swig of water.  On mornings when I'm heading out for a run before breakfast, I up this number to 30 bits.  I can head out for 5-7 miles with just bits in my system, and feel like I've got plenty of energy.  

The other great benefits of being #poweredbybits is the amount of nutritional value in a serving.  One serving meets most of your daily nutritional requirements for vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, all with only ONE calorie per tab!  That's 20-30 calories to meet your nutritional quotient for the day!  It's great knowing I'm getting the nutrients that I need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle from a whole food source.  And meeting these healthy guidelines means strengthening my defense against disease and illness.  I managed to stay well over the Thanksgiving holidays, while running in sub-freezing temps on one day, and heading to muggy, warm Florida the next, and I attribute this to my bits.  I did, unfortunately, get sick in January, but I know that my bits kept me healthier and able to come back strong.  I only wish I'd had some RECOVERYbits to help get over that cold faster!  

The ENERGYbits company has four different products, with a different balance of algae in each product.  ENERGYbits and SKINNYbits both have 100% spirulina algae.  RECOVERYbits are 100% chlorella algae to help build your immune system.  VITALITYbits are a 50/50 mix of these two algaes.  

And, from now until February 18, 2014 when anyone orders a bag of RECOVERYbits you also get a complimentary GIFT WITH PURCHASE! Your gift comes in an attractive black organza bag that contains a full tin of RECOVERYbits, a single sample serving of RECOVERYbits, a cool pair of ENERGYbits sunglasses, an ENERGYbits pen and some fun stickers. This $35 retail value is yours absolutely FREE with the purchase of at least one bag of RECOVERYbits.  And if you use my code "PREACH" you can get 30% off your order.

But of course, I want to share the love with one of my readers.  Below is a Rafflecopter for a free tin of ENERGYbits.  The giveaway will close at 11:59PM on Sunday, February 9, and the winner will be announced on next week's Training Tuesday post.