Hey there, all seven of you who read here (maybe?). It’s been a good bit since I blogged on here and I felt like an update of sorts is needed. The truth is, life is happening all over the place and has taken my attention away from this little space. I’m still out running and playing soccer, but some other stuff has been happening, too. Firstly, I got engaged! After two years of dating, Dan popped the question and we’ve now steamrolled into planning. Secondly, my heart has just not been in blathering on about training as much as I had been in the past. So, I’m not shutting down and disappearing, but I think this is a good point in my life to take a step back from blogging and just focus on my personal life right now. I’m an avid Instagrammer, so that’s a good place to catch updates. I’m not saying goodbye, just a see you later! Ciao!
As a SweatPink Ambassador, there are a bunch of different campaigns to try to be a part of. I try to be pretty choosey with what I put my name in for, mainly because I don’t want to just get a product because it’s free or being compensated for. I like to try things that I personally would have an interest in anyway, whether it relates to my running, race training, sports activities, etc. I used to be an avid Birchbox subscriber, but then realized I had way too many mini makeup products accumulating in my dresser that I simply didn’t use up. I do love the idea of subscription boxes though and now there are so many out there. Through FitApproach, I was given a free Bulu Box to check out and review. I had no idea what products would be inside, and eagerly awaited to see what it was all about. For those not familiar, Bulu Box is a monthly subscription box filled with samples and products pertaining to health, nutrition, and weight loss. You receive a box each month, then can earn points for sharing your thoughts. The points can be put towards purchases of full-size products featured on their site.
My box contained a total of x sample products: Simple Being’s Simple Diet, Earth’s Care Anti-Itch cream, a packet of MoveIt Energy Gummies, a packet of Runa Guayusa tea in Citrus, and Fusion Jerky’s Lemon Pepper Chicken flavor.
The first thing I did was dig into the chicken jerky.
The flavor of this jerky was awesome. It had a bit of a kick to it and I somehow had the willpower to not eat the whole bag in one sitting.
I munched on the energy gummies before heading to a soccer game. I honestly was not a fan of these. The flavor reminded me of cough syrup and not the tasty kind. I like the idea of taking gummies over eating a gel before intense activities, but I will not be having these. I was a little bummed about how these turned out.
I was also a bit confused about the sampling for the diet supplement product. In the package, you only received two pills. I’m not sure that is a sufficient amount to really gauge if it actually works or not. You are directed to take 1-2 pills with a meal, and I don’t see how one meal gives you a clear picture of how this product may work. I think a full week’s supply would be much more helpful at getting the customer to figure out if they want to purchase a full size or not.
I hate mosquitoes and seem to have the blood type that is extremely appealing to them, so I was pretty happy to see some anti-itch cream included in the sample box. This stuff has a good texture and consistency and the smell is not overpowering or offensive. And it worked pretty well at helping me stop itching a lot of bites I got from being outside one night.
The final sample was this citrusy tea. I prefer to drink tea instead of coffee in the afternoons if I need a bit of a pick me up and the citrus flavor alone was enough to bring me back to life one groggy afternoon after a big lunch.
Overall, I was pretty pleased with the samples I got from Bulu Box. As with an sample box, you’re going to have some hits and some misses, which is part of the fun of these kinds of things. I definitely think I’ll be getting more of that chicken jerky for my snack stash at work.
If subscription boxes are your kind of thing and you’d like to see what Bulu is all about, you can use a discount code to get 50% off a 3-month subscription thanks to FitApproach! Simply type in the promo code SWEATPINK to get the deal!
I received a free one month box from Bulu to review for this post. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.
Time to recap The Philly 10K!
I got bright and early Sunday morning to drive into the city. Prior to leaving, I applied some kt tape to my Achilles to help support it while I was running. I’ve never used the tape before, so I wasn’t sure if it really worked or not, but I figured it was worth a try.
Normally, I park in west Philly then take the subway down to Center City which works out amazingly well, and it’s cheaper than paying to park for several hours. I met up at 13th & Pine with a bunch of the awesome City Fit Girls Run Crew and we snapped a pre-race photo on someone’s stoop (sorry!).
We wandered to the race start area where I wished everyone good luck and made my way to what I thought was my corral. I was supposed to line up in B, but somehow found myself in C. It wasn’t a big deal, it just meant when we were sent off I was dodging and weaving a little more than I planned.
I felt pretty good at the start of the race. It was cooler than last year, but still fairly humid so I just ran with what felt good on my playlist. The first few miles flew by pretty quickly. There were a lot of awesome people all along the route cheering for the runners and they added an extra water stop this year (very smart). My goal for this race was to just run it solid with minimal pain. I’m not a very good warm weather runner, so I was not aiming for any kind of PR with this race. Whether it was the icing, the tape, a placebo, or what, I actually had significantly less pain than I had in any of my previous runs since tweaking the tendon. In fact, I pretty much had no pain once I was really warmed up. Consider me a kt tape convert! The course this year was changed to exclude the awful stretch down Spring Garden Street (thank heavens!), and much of it was shaded.
When I was coming down the final stretch I could see the finish off in the distance. I wasn’t paying attention to any tracking, so I had no idea we weren’t quite at the distance yet. I got super excited to be almost done, then realized we had to turn LEFT. So mean. We ran around Washington Square to then come back to Pine Street where I managed to finish in 52:23! A PR for the race by five seconds, but definitely not a distance PR.
I probably could have pushed it a little harder, but I heard a LOT of runners were puking at the finish, so I’m glad I did not make myself one of them. Two of my runner friends had volunteered at the finish area and I chatted briefly before heading to get water and make my way to the post-race party. I grabbed my finisher’s print of the course, then b-lined for the custard. Shake Shack partnered with Federal Donuts to make a special custard inspired by jelly donuts.
It was insanely delicious and I enjoyed every bite! I then made my way to grab a nice session IPA by Philadelaphia Brewing which was a brilliant idea because 15 minutes later the beer line got insanely long. I grabbed a free iced coffee from Saxby’s then chatted with various running friends about their race, including the lovely Janelle from Run With No Regrets!
Love my RUN215 singlet but the cut is NOT flattering for larger boobed ladies. There was a bit of a dance party with other RUN215ers and then it was off to brunch at Devil’s Den (sidenote: their breakfast bowl is AMAZING!).
All in all, a great race yet again! I had a blast as always and then spent the rest of snoozing on the couch and icing my Achilles again. I’m fairly sure I should be speeding up the recovery on that between the ice and the kt tape! Hope everyone else had a fab weekend!
My plan to get back into shape aggressively died pretty fast, but I’ll get to why a little later.
A few days ago through the RUN215 facebook group I was able to hop on and register for the free pop-up 5K with comedian Kevin Hart hosted by Nike+ Run Club. There would be no bibs, no timers, just a bunch of people meeting up to run in the city they love with a dude who also loves this city. I got to the Art Museum a little after 7:30am and checked in right away. I got a t-shirt and a wristband and plenty of bottled water was being passed around. It was a total party scene at the Art Museum with a DJ and members of Nike and various Philly area peeps as the Pacers for the race.
A little after 8:30 everyone was off and running for an out and back on West River Drive. Even though the weather was cooler, wearing a black tank in full sun was probably not the best idea. I started out fairly comfortable and even though this wasn’t a timed race, I felt really upbeat and just ran what felt good. I saw Kevin coming back and man, he’s a lot faster than I thought he would be. Granted there were some locals totally kicking his ass, but I was still impressed. At the turnaround they had plenty of water and everyone was cheering everyone on both sides of the course. It was a feel-good Philly running moment for sure! The end of the race takes you up the famous “Rocky steps” of the Art Museum which I was not anticipating at all. Kevin was high fiving everyone at the top as they passed by which was really cool. I did put Strava on and was happy to see I actually had negative splits until the end of the race.
Pretty solid. After the race there was a ton of food and all runners got a free sweat towel. I stuck around to cheer the last finishers coming up the steps with a crowd of pacers, including RUN215’s own Jon Lyons.
After the run, I took the Subway to Philadelphia Runner to pick up my RUN215 race singlet, then made my way down to Head House Square for the Bibs & Beers Party for the Philly 10K to get my race bib and tee.
I love the displays they set up for this race. Bib and shirt received, I strolled back to the subway to head back to my car. It was a great morning to wander around the city! I got a lot of good swag to add to my running gear.
Yeah… So a couple weeks ago during soccer, I must have aggravated my Achilles tendon while backpeddling. There wasn’t a moment where I felt it, but the next day it was sore and has been nagging me on and off ever since. Other than the last Midsummer 5K and a short run in my neighborhood, I haven’t done anything in the past week and a half. I decided to bag starting an intensive gym program until it feels better. I unfortunately don’t have the ability to really take full time off, so I am hoping I can rehab it and just do a combo of ice, NSAIDs, and some KT tape. We’ll see. The good news is I’ve maintained my weight so that’s a good thing.
I’m off to go cheer the Union down in Chester, but wanted to post since it seemed life took me away from the blog for a good bit! Cheers!
I swear I still care about this blog! Summer time always gets away from you when you have a lot going on and I consider that a good thing. However, it’s about a month out from the start of fall soccer, and a week out from the start of my 14-week half marathon training plan. That means it’s time to get a little more focused and back on track. 2015 so far has been a big improvement in my running and soccer. I’ve started scoring occasional goals (yay!) and have been doing very well at keeping good paces for all of the road races I have done. But, as the weather starts to cool, I am hoping to again set a few new PRs before the year is up.
For accountability purposes, I donned a sports bra and some shorts, stepped on my Fitbit Aria, and snapped a pic. I have NO idea what the spots on the mirror are from, I think I need to get some heavy duty solvents to get them off because regular cleaning supplies don’t work for crap! So sorry about that!
My Body Stats as of 09Aug15:
Height – 5’9″
Weight – 150lbs (it said 149.6lbs but today I was 150.2, so we’ll just say 150)
Body Fat: 29.8%
Current Running PRs:
5K – 22:21
5 Mile – 36:55
10K – 49:25
Half Marathon: 1:46:34
Weight-wise, I’m fairly okay staying here or moving a bit downward, being somewhere in the 140s I think is reasonable for my height and body type. I’m mostly concerned with my body fat %. While that’s probably not an accurate number up there, I don’t think it’s too far out from where I probably am.
The main goals for my fall prepping and then maintenance are to return to two things (while still running and playing soccer, obviously): better eating habits and building strength at the gym. It’s so easy to get off-track in the summer time, and while my fitness level has been decent, I don’t think it’s at its peak. As much as SELF is kind of a fluffy magazine, they do have some pretty decent recipes to try. I had a good bit of success with their Drop 10 programs, and they somewhat rehashed a lot of recipes into their Best Bodies Challenge plan. This week I revisited a few of my favorite recipes, like the ones from Day 1.
Today is a bit all over the place, but I’ll have time before a double header soccer match to prep for tomorrow. I am in the process of trying to find a few other recipes (pinned a TON) that are simple, not too unhealthy, and easy to make ahead of time. It’s nice to get back into prepping my own meals, honestly.
For the workout, I did a bit of googling and came across this plan I am BEYOND excited to implement! It’s a 5 month “off-season” soccer conditioning plan, but I don’t see a reason to not use it as a year-round workout. I’m starting month 1 day 1 today and even was a dork enough to make my own print-out logs for the workout. I’m going to have to modify the medicine ball workout day a little bit as I can’t really toss one at my gym, but I’m eager to see how this pays off in terms of strength building, speed, and overall endurance during a game. I picked up a speed ladder and some cones to incorporate in the running drills days.
Between this plan, better eating, and my usual glutton of running/soccer, I’m really hoping to see some significant changes in my body composition and performance. I’m going to “weigh in” twice a week, once on Sundays with a pic as above, then again on Wednesdays. No pic for Wednesdays, but that will be my mid-week check in to make sure I’m not flying off the rails if things get busy.
And I promise, promise! to recap my Spartan Super and the Rock the Canyon races soon! I just wanted to get this going before I get distracted again! :)
A little over a month ago, I received an opportunity to try out a pair of compression socks (color of my choice) from Tiux. When approached for any review, I like to scope out their website for a feel of the company and if this is something I would be genuinely interested in, not just because it is free. I’ve been utilizing compression socks for a lot of my longer distance races, so right away that grabbed my interest. Tiux is a small, startup company based out Vancouver, Canada that strives to provide quality compression socks at a much lower price than what is available through other retailers in the market. You can get full details through their About section right here. I liked their attitude and agreed to do the review. Next up was selecting a color.
Tiux are unisex socks like most other compression companies and come in three color options currently. Being a lover of bright colors, and blue, I opted for the neon yellow/blue/black pair. They shipped extremely quickly and I have to say the packaging was quite appealing. Here are the specs from their website if you do not feel like clicking over yet:
- Wide top band for comfort.
- Calf support and stabilization.
- Achilles tendon protection to prevent blistering and irritation.
- “Y” heel for contoured perfect fit.
- Padded footbed provides cushion and shock absorption.
- Seamless toe for maximum comfort.
- Constructed with premium technical fabrics for superior moisture management and breathability.
- 200 thread count for ultimate durability,comfort and fit.
- Left and right anatomical design.
The thing that is a pain in the ass about compression socks is getting them on. They’re made to be tight, and so pulling them over your feet and up your leg can often be a whole process in and of itself. These socks were much different. Even though they fit nice and snug, I wasn’t huffing and puffing trying to get them on as I have with my Nike pairs. The foot of the sock is also more cushioned which is wonderful. I loved them instantly and made a note to wear them for my upcoming double race weekend at the end of the month. These socks also feel very soft compared to other ones I own.
Tiux In Action
I knew I wanted to run the first half marathon of the PA Grand Canyon Rock the Canyon challenge harder than the second day and sported these socks (which perfectly matched my outfit, yay!).
During the race, my legs felt good. It was fairly cool on the mountain, so I didn’t have much to worry about overheating with higher socks. Since other socks can have a thinner foot, I’ll often get a blister here or there after a long run. This definitely did not happen. My feet were cool, comfortable, not sweaty, and blister free!
Comfort, look, and fit are all on point with these socks. And at the price of $35 with free shipping, I have to say these are probably one of the best options out there. I do believe wearing these on Saturday during the half marathon helped me tackle the hills and aided in my recovery to then go back out on Sunday and run the race all over again. Even though it wasn’t my fastest half marathon (HILLS!!), any gear that helps me finish with a smile on my face is tops in my book.
I highly recommend checking out Tiux. They are extremely friendly and quick to respond to any questions you may have about their product. Not only do they offer free shipping for your order, but exchanges also come with free shipping. It’s a win-win situation to try these out.
Many thanks to Steven at Tiux for reaching out and letting my try a great running product! I’m looking forward to sporting them throughout my upcoming training for the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November!
Monday – 4.95ish miles, overall pace 9:00/mile. It was hot and soupy, but I was happy to get it done.
Wednesday – Co-ed soccer, 40 min. Didn’t win but got nice and sweaty, had a few good stops but one guy pretty much raked his cleat down my ankle forcing me to sit out the last 4 min or so. Boo. I was worried it might impact my Thursday run.
Thursday – Thirsty Thursday with Conshy Run Club! My friend Megh paced me and her husband Jared for the first two miles, then Jared and I went another mile before turning back. We pushed to negative splits after Mile 2 and it worked out well! 6 miles at 9:13/mile overall.
Saturday – Got out for a negative split 5K around the neighborhood before we had dinner and went to see fireworks.
Sunday – Two hours of soccer drills and shooting practice. Dan had a gift card for Adidas online and had no intention of using it. I fell in love with the Micoach Smart Ball and had to have it. So, Dan let me use his gift card to order the ball which made it significantly cheaper and more of a realistic purchase. The ball is for training to take certain type of kicks on goal whether they be around or over the wall, knuckle balls, or just power shots. I’m going to try use more of the tutorials and get a full review up here, but just wanted to share how much I love the thing already!
I’m not sure if it was a hangover from how awesome the Women’s National Team did in the World Cup final (CARLI LLOYD FOR PRESIDENT), or practicing with the Smart Ball, but last night I filled in on a friend’s co-ed team and scored!
Okay, so it wasn’t that level of awesome, but I managed to get a good run up the outside on the right and one touched a ground ball to the opposite corner. We lost the game, but I am feeling much more confident in making runs to create scoring chances in my games now. I have a double-header tonight, and one game tomorrow. I’m going to try (emphasis on the try) to score once in each game. 90% sure it won’t happen, but a girl can dream. :)
Since the beginning of the week is quite soccer heavy, the rest of the week includes a 5K race, a Spartan Race, and a 10ish miler on Sunday if I don’t die during the Super. I’m pretty sure my arms will be jell-o from all the burpees I anticipate having to do.
Also, following the double half marathon, my workout focus is going to shift a little. I did some googling and came across a six-month training plan specifically designed for soccer athletes. It involves running drills, strength training, speedwork, etc. I’m really excited to start putting it into practice come August and see how my body responds to targeting training for the sport. I’ll still be running, but may just focus on doing the group run on Thursdays and a couple shorter runs during off-days. I’ve got a good feeling this fall I will be more ready than ever for outdoor season. I also plan to update regularly about my progress with the plan including measurements (body fat % and such) as well as anything I am taking to supplement my workouts. Stay tuned til then! :D