Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ghost Injury?

Have you ever had an injury? Nevermind I know the answer. Yes. You have. If you've been running for over two years you have. Not because running is 'bad for your knees' or 'gives you arthritis' (who makes that sh** up?) but because it's an intoxicating sport. And we all have weakness, imbalances, stiff muscles, what-have-you. Yet no one has the time to do all the meticulous work to keep our engines running in all their gleaming possible perfection.

But we can't stop running, because we are in love. Until injury hits you like a brick wall (or a semi truck) and lands you on your butt. Wind knocked out. Shocked to watch the running turn it's back on you for days, weeks, months.

Once you've been brick-walled and/or semi-trucked you catch your breath and then you start crawling back. You aqua jog at 5am and see your PT more than your friends, you might even go under the knife and, of course, you your make pleas to the running gods and then ... you're back. Because running isn't puppy love. It's lifelong, through sickness and health kind of love.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is my knee is being a jerk.

Friday, December 23, 2011

jingle all the way!

I'm headed down to Tacoma to spend Christmas with my fiance's family. I love spending the holidays there, it's super relaxing.

They live right next to Dash Point state park and I duck into the trails every day to log some miles (and have time alone). I love trail running and now that I have my Garmin I know I'll love it even more! I'll finally know the mileage of my loops.

What are you up to? Do you keep training during the holidays?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Circuit Training For Runners (How to Avoid Granny Shuffle)

I have noticed that while my running has been going well after training consistently for a year, I'm starting to develop bad runner habits. When my run is over I don't stretch. I hadn't done a crunch or plank in over a month.

At first these habits weren't affecting me. Then I raced a 5k. The last mile and a half I felt my form fall apart. All hunched over, my arms were just limply flailing around, my stride turning to an odd shuffle. And that's when I decided it was time to get back to the circuit training.

After an easy day (4 miles or so) I write down a quick workout.

core arms legs
the hundred
squat + shoulder press
plank/side planks
single leg standing fly
one leg bridge pulse
bicycle crunch intervals
standing one leg, dumbbell run arms
curtsy squat with lateral raise

Then I do each exercise for :60 timed on my iPhone. I run through the core, arms, legs. Rest and stretch for :60 then the next row...then I repeat it all a second time. It's mindless and easy to get done in under 30 minutes.

I have two 8 pound dumbbells and a notebook full of workouts from Runner's World, Women's Fitness and physical therapy that I've ripped out and saved over the years. When I can't think of something to do I just do a quick flip through for ideas. Using Google is a good way to find exercises too, "arm exercises for runners" "best core for runner"...

My favorite one from this workout was the last one (curtsy squat with lateral raise). It works glutes, obliques, hips, quads, hamstrings, shoulders and it tests your balance. This is perfect for runners, full body + balance (running is done on one leg - balance is very important to form).

full workout can be found on

My goal is to complete circuit training twice a week. Ideally it would be three - four times, but I'm going to work up to that.

What do you do to compliment your running? Circuit? Yoga? Barre? Have you noticed a positive affect on your running?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: Sauce Headwear

At The Running Event I had lots of time to wander around checking out the latest from the running world. From socks to recovery drinks. Shoes to hats.

The absolute best thing I picked up was a headband from Sauce. I was drawn by the colors and the fact that the woman standing in the booth was also clearly the model on the booth display. Shayla Swanson is a professional cross country skier. Who was fed up with itchy, over heating (ugly) headwear in her sport.

Shayla is in the headband. Cindi our Oiselle rep is raving about the headband.

I have been looking for a running headband that's warm but not too hot. I know I sound like Goldilocks or something, but it's annoying to have headwear that ends up wrapped around my wrist after a mile. I thought I'd give the Sauce Headband a spin.

The Sauce Ventilator is the headband I ended up with . It is almost the coverage of a hat with must needed ventilation. Perfect for 25 - 40 degree days. I've run in this every day since getting it, the coldest day was 28, the warmest 42. Never was I cold, never was I itchy or hot. I even raced a 5k in it (hello new PR).

Wicking material inside is serious business

I've washed it once and line dried it, absolutely no issues there. It dried in under 8 hours and was ready the next morning.

I'm so hooked on Sauce (wait, that sounds wrong). Really fabulous product, and a woman run business. A woman who saw a problem and created an awesome solution. Love it.

Check out Sauce Headwear here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Running Event 2011

Alternate title: Oh Skittles! I forgot I have a blog!

I just got back from Austin Texas ya'll! I was lucky enough to go to The Running Event with Oiselle this year. It was an amazing time. You can read more about our booth design and such at my post on the Oiselle Running Blog.

Set up on Wednesday (above) and the final touches on the Oiselle booth (below)

The Running Event is where brands show off what's latest and greatest. It's one part serious expo, where buyers from across the country are deciding what to bring into their stores. But it's also one part big smoozy, boozy fest. Never have I seen so much day-drinking outside a music festival. Booths hosted bars and small bites throughout both days. Like you could have a glass of wine at the K-Swiss booth and then a sweet tea vodka at SPI-Belt while listening to the live acoustic music they also had set up in their booth.

Serious fabric demo. (above) Mixing up the new PowerBar recovery drink on the bike! (below)

Oiselle was there showing Fall 2012. Yes, you heard that right - Fall 2012. I didn't think I could be more excited for a season than I am for Spring 12 collection (select styles launching in mid-January!) but Fall has me losing sleep. So. rad. So basically we unveiled the F12 collection to the independant running stores of America (and Canada and Israel).

We also showed Spring 12 in case somehow they forgot to order the fabulous Oiselle styles coming soon. We had a great response to both seasons, and even some new stores are filling their racks with Oiselle. (Plug: Be sure to support your local running store and give them feedback. They are buying with you in mind!)

Other than showing the line, smoozing, a lil boozing, there is also a 5k race: The Indie 5k! Is it competitive you ask, well let me just say I haven't caught that many elbows since college xc. And I broke 18! Hallelujah! 17:44. This training for a whole year without much injury to speak of is really working out for me. (knocking on wood). I felt really out of it, tired and fuzzy, my head all wrapped up in expo. I wasn't sure I had a race in me until I had to pee 3 times within 10 minutes. Phew. That always means my body might be ready to throw out some effort.

I'm sad we didn't get pictures of this morning. Like I mentioned, we had most of our Oiselle representatives in Austin with us. We all have the singlets. Seeing all these women lined up for Oiselle was so awesome. Cindi from Chicago, over-50 year but with legs most 18 year olds would covet, same with my mama and Lesko legs in with her Race Day Rundies outside her Lesley Knickers, Christy and Michele ready to power up the hills, Sally and I... all of us ready to fly! We easily swept the non-existent team division.

Despite being a vendor I did get hooked up with some other brand samples. I'm looking forward to trying it all out, doing some reviews, maybe a giveaway. Ya know the kind of stuff you do when you REMEMBER you have a blog.

Want to hear about any brand in particular? Ask away!