Monday, January 16, 2017

Compression Just Got Better #KProChallenge

We're just a few weeks into the new year and only a couple of weeks away from my first race of the year.  Training is going well!  I'm learning to push myself through some tough workouts - intervals, hills, distance, strength workouts.  And they are leaving me tired and sore.  A good kind of sore!

I will be honest.  I have spent a ton of time inside on the treadmill.  It's seriously so much easier for me to not worry about the kids schedules, less daylight, and cold.   I can just put on a tank, grab a towel, and bring my phone downstairs to enjoy some Netflix loving time and to bang out some miles on my treadmill.  

A photo posted by Jen Boudreau (@runningwtg) on

Sunday morning I woke up so sore!  My legs were saying no more! But I had 10 miles to get done.  Then I remembered my 12 miler last weekend and I had similar feelings.   I wore my SKINS K-PROPRIUM tights last week and they were amazing.  I had only planned on 10 miles, but just kept going.  12 miles later, I still felt pretty good.  After I showered and got into my daily routines, I noticed that I did not feel like I had run 12 miles.   So, I thought, let's try out those SKINS compression tights again.

And I did.  And 10 miles never felt so good.  The sore muscle feeling went away.  The miles just ticked away.   It was an odd feeling.  Something I haven't experienced before on a longer run.  It got me thinking, how on earth are my legs feeling so good running in compression tights?  I've tried running in compression tights before and it was not a good situation.  It really turned out to be that I should only wear them as recovery tights.  So I was a little timid to run in the SKINS tights.  But I did, and now there's no going back!

I have had the opportunity to try out the K-PROPRIUM compression tights for the past few weeks and lucky you,  SKINS' is launching K-PROPRIUM compression tights for men and women this February.

SKINS' K-PROPRIUM combines the best dynamic gradient compression with strategically placed Proprioceptive Power Bands (PPB's) to fight fatigue and reduce the risk of injury and improve performance by enhancing proprioception.  

But wait!  I know what fatigue is.  My legs feel it almost every time I bust out a tough workout or a long run.  I definitely know what injuries are.  I've had far too many.  But seriously, what the heck is proprioception?  Thankfully, the people at SKINS have defined this for us.  

          "Proprioception is the unconscious perception of motion and spatial awareness.  
           It's the body's ability to sense movement in the joints, so you're aware of where 
           your limbs are without having to look.  It's important to everyday activities like 
           standing and walking, but it's even more important during physical activity where 
          dynamic movements and co-ordination are vital for optimal performance.  When 
          you're active for long periods of time, the body's ability to perform at a sustained 
          intensity drops as the muscles become fatigued.  This reduces the joint support that   
          controls normal motion effectively and can lead to poor form and increased risk of 
           injury."    - from SKINS' 

So basically, what I'm telling you is the SKINS' merged two amazing compression methods into one pair of tights to bring us tights that will help improve performance when your legs are fatiguing and will help you persevere through that tough workout.    

But all of this doesn't really matter unless you try them our or know of someone who has tried them out.  I had the opportunity to try out a pair for the past few weeks.  After several workouts in them, I can assure you that they feel amazing on my legs and have definitely made a few workouts much better.

And with my new SKINS K-PROPIUM tights, I'm also joining in on the #pistolsquat challenge.  Right now, day 1.  I'm not so good.  But given time, patience, and lots of practice - I'm going to master the pistol squat.  That's what determination is about!  I think you should join me on instagram!  

disclosure: I received a pair of SKINS K-PROPIUM tights to try out.  I was not required to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lumo Run a 1:1 Running Coach?

You don't know how many times, just after I finish a race, Ward is telling me about how awful my form is.   In my head, my form rocks.  But, then I see race photos and listen to Ward and I know it needs help.  Like BIG time help!

A majority of the time, I run alone.  I would rather run with a partner, don't get me wrong.  But scheduling doesn't always allow it.  When I do get to run with someone, it's like a special treat!    As one of my goals this year is to "Master the Half", I know I need to zone in on my form.  Short of having Ward bike beside me and shout corrections at me (which, by the way would be super bad for our marriage),  I am not sure what else I can do.   I guess I could record my form on the treadmill. 

But now I don't have to!  I have my one 1:1 Running Coach, in the form of a simple looking running tool called Lumo Run.  

I had the opportunity to try out Lumo Run at the Boston Marathon Expo back in April.  My first impression was super excited to have a gadget give me feedback on my form that I wouldn't take personally, because, we'll it's a gadget and not a person!   Then I came across the opportunity to review Lumo Run again this fall, so of course I took advantage of that opportunity!

Let's discuss the Pros and Cons of the Lumo Run.

* It's lightweight 
* It's sweatproof/waterproof 
* Coaching while you run 
* Exercises specific to you to help you improve your form
* Connects to an app for you to see your stats
* You don't have to run with your phone

* Mileage and pace are not accurate on a treadmill 
* If you don't bring you phone for an outdoor run, won't measure you distance/pace

You can see my Pros far outweighs my Cons.  Really, when it comes to the treadmill, what really is accurate?  Even an outdoor run using a GPS watch isn't 100% accurate.  One watch will tell you one thing while another will have different mileage/pace.   So, I guess I don't really care about the mileage and pace Lumo Run gives me on the treadmill.  The treadmill screen tells me that part.  What I want out of the Lumo Run on the treadmill is the data about my run.  AND it definitely gives me that.  

But WHAT in the world does it really measure?

To learn more about each of the above mentioned, please check out Lumo Run's description here.  They do it far better than I.   

What I've gathered from my feedback is the my cadence definitely needs work.  The coaching part of the app will tell me when I'm running if I've met my goal.  So far, I've only heard it once.   I'll get there.   I know it.  

My bounce as well.   I'm close.  I didn't see much of a difference between my treadmill bounce and my road bounce, so it tells me that overall I need to work on that.  I'm good with that.  

My overall report card grade: A- 
It's a great tool and gives you quite a bit of information; however, there could be some improvements.   But not a lot.   Is it worth the $99 price tag?  Yes.   For me, it's a marriage saver.  My husband isn't giving me feedback.  It's an app giving advice which, for me, is a better way to receive constructive criticism.  

disclosure: I was sent this product through my affiliation with Beachy Media.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

Happy New Year!  

Normally I do a great job tracking my mileage.  I have a great app on my phone that is super easy to track with.  However, I failed big time by not backing it up when I upgraded to the iPhone 7 and poof that milage was gone.   From there, I lost motivation to really keep track because I didn't what my mileage was when it was deleted.  Ooops!    

I've been known to start off the year with mileage that goes with the year.  Like 11 miles in 2011.    I honestly wasn't feeling like 17 miles today, so I thought a 17k would be fun.  

On the treadmill.  Talk about MIND OVER MATTER for sure!  Thank goodness for Netflix and Audio 66 wireless headphones.   The combination of the two have gotten me through tons of mileage on the treadmill!  

I'm not one to make New Year's Resolutions because you put so much emphasis on starting off the year and then fail one time and that resolution is out the window.  I like to set goals for the year with smaller steps along the way.  

I've run just over 1600 miles a couple of years ago and I KNOW I have more in me, so I'm upping that mileage to set a goal of 1700 miles for 2017.   I have my work cut out for me, but in building my race schedule for the year, I am pretty sure I can meet that!    I'm still working on my schedule, but I'm thinking there's a few half marathons that are going to happen, a 25k, a bike race and some 5ks and 10ks.  I'm even thinking there will be some snowshoe racing going on.  I signed up for my first snowshoe race!   

I'm not interested in any marathons this year.   However, I am toying with the idea of an Ultra in the fall.  I'm not 100% sure yet.   I'm thinking we will see how the spring goes first and then decide.    This is a big MAYBE.  

Another goal I've been working on is scaling back on commitments and spend more time with the family, smiling, laughing and just taking it in.  I quit my job at the gym.  That actually hurt more than I thought it would.  But I needed to.  I needed less commitment.   I also stepped away from my position on the MEUSATF board.  I didn't feel like I was contributing, so it was time to step away from that commitment.    So how exactly will I laugh and spend more time with the family?   Just by enjoying each day for what it is.  When Izzy wants to play "bees", a tickling game she enjoys, I'll drop everything I'm doing for 5 minutes of fun with her!  Lots of laughing, lots of smiles.  

What goals have you set for yourself?   How about you join me for the FitApproach #IAmEmpowered instagram challenge for January?   

Today's prompt: 
What is your biggest goal for 2017? Are you going to run a race, start a business, commit to a healthier lifestyle, get outside of your comfort zone? Whatever your goal may be, think about the ways in which you will empower yourself to complete this goal. Share it with us on Instagram & use the hashtag #IAmEmpowered.

Sign up for the challenge or following the hashtag #IAmEmpowered on instagram to participate and see the daily prompts!  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Winter Running Essentials #ThermoBreath

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

Winter is here in full force and in Maine, winter temperatures are going to be here for quite awhile!   I'm loving that Mizuno has the ThermoBreath line to keep you warm on those winter and cold weather runs!  

It's no secret.  I'm not a fan of super cold winter runs.  Frozen eye lashes and icy roads are not fun for me.  But I won't argue ever that running in the fresh air is good for the soul.  And I'm going to be toasty warm in my newest Mizuno ThermoBreath top and gloves.   

I'm loving the longer length of the top.  I seriously hate it when a shirt inches up when you are running and exposes your belly.  Ugh.  But I don't have that problem in this shirt!  It's long, soft, comfy and warm.  Sounds like the perfect top for running to me!  

And the gloves?   I would say they are great for temps above 20F.  They are thin and perform quite well!  Actually, the Mr. has taken them far too many times.  And I have washed them quite a bit too because I don't want his snot on my gloves when I wear them.  After the numerous washings, they are still quite amazing.  They are my go-to choice in gloves for running and just in general.  

Perfect for a driving glove when you're driving to your running destination or just running errands.

Tell me, what are you winter running essentials?    

Friday, December 23, 2016

My Best Gift Ever #FTD

With only two more days before Christmas, gift giving is at the top of so many's lists right now.   I've been thinking about the best gift I've ever received.    It was 17 years ago, when Ward and I started dating.   He made me this clock, from love.  

It hasn't worked in about 13 of those years.  I change the battery every so often and it works for about a day.  But it's not going anywhere.   He made it for me.    It was the first gift he gave me.   The value of this gift far outweighs any gift anyone could ever give me.   

Gift giving doesn't have to be about how much money you spend on someone.  It's about the thought behind the giving of the gift.     The message of "I'm thinking about you".    

A gift from the heart isn't necessarily an Apple Watch or a doll house.  It's time.  It's love.  It can be a phone call or even a FaceTime (which is always fun).   It could be a gorgeous floral arrangement from FTD.  

It's not too late to send one either!    Check out FTD now.  Sign up for the FTD email and you'll get special offers for beautiful arrangements.    

Just know that saying "I'm thinking about you" is enough and is the most important gift you can give anyone.   Merry Christmas everyone!  

disclosure: I was sent an arrangement from FTD, but was not required to review my product.  Instead, I was asked to talk about my favorite gift.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Let StitchFix Style For YOU!

When it comes to running clothes, I feel like I have have it down.  The colors, the prints, the #twopairdontcare and the #runmatchy(TM).    I put FAR too much time putting together an outfit for a run or a workout.   Even if I don't take a selfie from my workout.  I know you all think I take pics from all runs or workouts, but I don't.  

But when it comes to my outfits for school or going out, I'm completely lost.  To be honest, I've seriously thought about taking a few more classes and becoming certified in Physical Education so I can wear my workout clothing to school.   And of course, I would absolutely LOVE teaching PE as well.  However, I do love being a Math teacher and I worked super hard at passing that darn Praxis II, so I'll stay where I am.  

I've seen ads and posts for StitchFix here and there, and I thought nothing of it at first.  But then curiosity got to me and I checked it out.  I seriously should have been going to StitchFix all along!    It's so easy.  After you sign up, you are lead through a series of questions to set up your Style Profile - height, weight, sizes, fit preferences.  Then you get a chance to choose styles that you like the most.  

After you go through the questions, you set up your delivery date and wait.  Shipping doesn't take too long.  My package came through USPS and considering the time of year it is, my package was here in no time.   

My initial thoughts after opening up the box was "those colors!".  Blues, purples, blacks, dark mulberry.  All of the colors I love.  So pretty.  And the bracelet?  Super cute!   

But hold up!  What if you don't really love what is sent?  Or if it is too big or too small or just doesn't look like you thought it would.  No sweat.  You get 3 business days to return and there is a free shipping package enclosed.  Just log into your StitchFix account, note which items you want to return and why, then package up your returns and you are done.  If you love everything, you'll still need to log in and pay.  Of course!    

So, how about this!  Treat yourself to a personalized stylist-inspired outfit from StitchFix.  It's a nice treat for all of the hard work you have done getting everyone ready for the holiday season!   

And if you aren't sure what you want, or if you have that difficult person to shop for who has everything, let StitchFix do the styling for you!   

So there you have it!  StitchFix is a great way to gift yourself or someone you love!   Have you tried a style service before?  What are your thoughts?

disclosure:  This post is sponsored by StitchFix through my affiliation with FitApproach.  I paid for for the outfit I received out of my own money.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Coastline by Anne Zimmerman {a review + giveaway}

I am a huge lover of the ocean.  It's actually one of my favorite things about the state I live in.  Before my family moved to Maine, we vacationed along the coast and that is where the love started.   The rocky shores, beaches, so much to explore.  Incredibly beautiful.  

Lucky for me, I married a man who shares the same love of the coast as I do.  We love the water.  It's our dream to one day (many years from now) retire somewhere along the water.  But until then, I'll continue to enjoy my trips to the beach and the rocky coast with my family and friends and then come home to enjoy my gorgeous new pillows and tote from a lovely lady, Anne Zimmerman, the owner and artist behind Coastline by Anne Zimmerman.  

I first saw Anne's products on my husband's Facebook feed and instantly fell in love.   The shades of blue, the coast.  It just drew me in and seemed perfect to me.   Last month I took the plunge and purchased a set of pillows for my living room.  Aren't they perfect?  I think so!  I chose a Downeast coastline and a MidCoast coastline.   Perfect for my family with so many memories along both!

Then Anne and I started talking a little bit.  She actually went to high school with my husband and ran on the cross country team with him.  It is seriously a small world indeed.   Her products are absolutely gorgeous and would make the perfect gift for a friend, family member or yourself.  You know you deserve to buy something pretty for yourself.  So do it!  

Anne just sent me one of her NEW Maine Coast Cruise Totes to review.  As soon as I laid my eyes on it, I knew I was going to love it.  The colors are very calming and draw you in.  They make me want to go to the coast RIGHT NOW!  But, alas, I live in Maine and we're heading into a super cold-spell, so for the time being you'll find me right by my wood stove until it gets a little warmer.   I'm thinking it might be May before we get back to the coast.  But until then, I have my Maine Coast Cruise Tote to remind me of the place I love the most.  And I'll dream about hanging out on the beach again. 

The construction of the tote is quite sturdy.  It will definitely hold up to everyday use.  I see myself using it for just about anything and everything.  When going out for a day trip and I want to bring along a book and snacks, I can see myself grabbing my new tote and taking it along.  It will also be great for a quick trip to the gym.  Plenty big enough for some sneakers and a change of clothing.  Imagine all of the possibilities!   And because I don't LOVE my current purse/handbag, I might just move into my new tote!  It's THAT gorgeous!  

I've been going on and on about the Coastline Maine Coast Cruise Tote, but I need to add that Anne NOW lives in Florida and has an entire Florida line as well.   You know, after our trip to Florida in April, I may need something from Florida!  Her prints sure are pretty!  

And if you don't have any connections to Maine or Florida, do not worry!  She has a New York Harbor line AND she makes custom pillows and wall prints.  Your location, your colors.  You know, I'm all about custom!   

And yes, I did mention something about a giveaway!  Anne has a giveaway going on RIGHT NOW on Facebook.   

To enter, head over to the Coastline by Anne Zimmerman Facebook page.  To enter, all you need to do is share the photo of the contest, then GO BACK to the original post on her page and comment "DONE".  She'll select her winner from there.   That is SO exciting and you'll love it!  

Check out Anne's website and let me know what you love about her products!  Check it out and subscribe to her newsletter and you'll get a 20% off code.    

disclosure:  I was sent a product as part of a review.  I was not required to give a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.