Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thank Goodness it's Hump Day!

A short week can seriously mess you up!   Actually, I don't think I ever recovered from the past weekend.   Saturday was packed full of cleaning and decorating for Izzy's birthday party.  No run.  But I was dead tired!   

at least I had my Tokala's from Altra!  happy feet for sure

We had Tuesday off due to a nor'easter that brought us a ton of sleet. I did take advantage of the day off and got in 8 miles yesterday in my pain cave.  My workout called for hill intervals.  Given the icy and dangerous conditions outside, I felt the treadmill would be the best place to get in my workout.   And I was right!  I did have to wear my Embrace the Hill tank for motivation to get me through an intense workout.   It matches my Spandits perfectly! 




It was so messy, we had a 2 hour delay this morning.   I am thankful for the call being made, it was for everyone's safety.  The roads were still quite dicey when I went into school.  But the shortened schedule still makes for a crazy day!  You know what it's like when your schedule is thrown off!    My water bottle adorned with this beautiful Momentum Jewelry bracelet, was a nice reminder to take a moment and Just Breathe.  




The day started out late, but it went super late!   And when I finally got home, I saw this post on FB and it completely described how I was feeling!   




So true.  But I do it to myself.  I take on too much sometimes.   BUT, the way I balance things out with the crazy life, is to make time for myself.  So after dinner and after I let it settle for a bit (I'm not good at running after I eat at all!)... I made my way down to my pain cave for another date with the TM.



Seriously.  How much do I love this combo?  One leg tiger stripe, the other leg abyss.  Spandits - you seriously make me happy with your custom styles!   They look perfect with my Darn Tough socks and black Altra One 2.5s.  Plus, I think I'll be wearing these ALL of the time when I'm coaching this spring!   Gardiner Tiger colors and print ALL THE WAY!   

Like I said.  Thank goodness it's hump day.  Now we are technically more than halfway through the week.... I am positive I can make it through Thursday and Friday now.    Well, that is, I can just avoid ALL of the negative stuff on social media.  Seriously!  I just want FB filled with happy thoughts.  Ward and I were talking tonight.  Can we just post pics of our kids doing odd things, or cute puppies, or fishing trips or whatever and stay away from all of the name calling and meanness!   End rant.  

Now, we can focus on a great and happy end of the week.   What plans do you have for the weekend?   I am not racing, so I'm excited to run with the group at KVC and get in some snowshoe running!  



  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bradbury Squall Race Report

I finally crossed SnowShoe Race off my bucket list!   It's been something I've been wanting to do and when I purchased my running snowshoes last month, I knew I had to finally take the plunge and register myself for a race.   The Bradbury Squall 3.5 miler is done!



I was rather nervous that the race was going to be cancelled due to our lack of snow or that the race would be a trail race.   But then the email came from the race director - the race was ON and to wear snowshoes.   I had been prepping myself for a sloppy, winter trail race - but was excited because I have been wearing the sweet KingMT's that Altra will be releasing in the next month.  


When reality sunk in that I was indeed going to be running my first snowshoe race, I became SO nervous.  I had only run in my new Atlas 22's, twice since I purchased them.  I have also been on the treadmill a TON lately.  How on earth does that prepare me for a snowshoe race?  It doesn't.




I got to the race early to get my bib and to get a parking spot.   The race director's email warned us of the limited parking, so I thought it would better to get there early.  I didn't have anyone to carpool with, sadly.  Maybe next time I can convince a friend to run with me?  



When I checked in, the very kind people at the table asked me what size shirt I wanted.  I asked if they were unisex and she said the best thing ever.  "no, all Trail Monster Races get men and women sizes". I love her.   After she gave me my shirt, I knew I had to earn the right to wear it.  How awesome is this shirt?   I think it is definitely the best race shirt I've ever gotten.   


One thing is for certain, I was rather impressed to see so many Altra shoes on the Lamey Wellehan table!  Of course there were some other brands, but Altra is my fave.  


People started heading over to the starting line area, so I thought it would a great idea to do the same. Time to get my head in the race and to make sure my snowshoes were on correctly.  


And then I saw this guy.  He's badass.   It was overcast and barely 37 degrees.  


Snowshoes on and ready to go!  


But I wasn't quite ready to take off my jacket!  It was definitely a little chilly.  I guess I was spoiled with 43F the day before and sun!   I think it was about 37F at race start and it was overcast.  Not bad at all.  It definitely could have been worse!  Eventually I took my jacket off and hung it on a branch.  


Still not sure about this running in snowshoes thing?   And single track?  Oh jeez!  That part made me nervous.


But then I saw a great friend of ours and all was right.  Thanks, John!   It's always great to see you.  (and your tiny house!)


I set myself in the middle of the pack (ish) and waited for the race directors directions.   I loved how laid back he was and everyone around me seemed quite chill.   Shortly after his directions, we were off.  I waited for a bit to start my Garmin because I was SOOO far back.   My actually results are smidge longer since this definitely was not a chip timed race.  I love smaller races!   

The trails were taken care of quite well!  I was impressed with the work the race director and John had done the day before.  I was appreciative for sure!  



I had NO idea there was a trail cam out there.  Lucky for me, it caught me focused and working hard. See!  Proof I did work hard for this one!   I had passed several people (when I could, safely).  I was only passed by 2 people.  I would call that a win.  I had NO idea what to expect for a finish time as I had never raced a snowshoe race before.   


photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos

The actual distance of the race was 3.5 miles; therefore my pace is off.  But the time is correct (well, from the moment I started to the moment I crossed the finish line).  The official results have me with 42 minutes and change.   That Momentum Bracelet has become my go-to race bracelet.  Make It Happen is the motto at KVC - a lovely group of runners I have recently joined and already love being part of.  


I came home from the race feeling absolutely pumped.  I had a blast and before I even left the race, I registered for the next one on 2/12!  The next race in the series is the 4 miler.  Then there is a 5 miler in March.  If I do the March one, it would be my first race in the 40 age group!   Eek!

goodies found on my run 

Actually, after completing this race, it got me thinking that I want to run more trail races this year.  Which means I will have to train on more trails.  Gulp.  That's the hard part because I am such a nervous nelly, I won't run on trails, in the woods, alone.  That will take some planning to get a friend to run with me, but it's worth it!   I'm eyeing up the Pineland's 25k right now.  We'll see!


When I came home, I didn't bother changing and I went out directly for more mileage!  It was Izzy's 8th birthday, so I had to run 8 miles.  Only makes sense!   I'm almost dressed head-to-toe in Altra above.  Altra half-zip (the bomb!), Altra tights (with mesh behind the knee...love this), Altra gaiters, and Altra KingMT trail shoes.  I HAD to have on something Spandits, because Spandits is my first love.  So I chose the super awesome bandit. (20% off right now at Spandits! - tell them Jen B sent you too!).   


Yes, the best race shirt.  I had to wear it after I showered.  I cannot wait to see what the swag is at the next race!  TMR, you rock!


Oh, and I have some freaking AWESOME news!  I'm going to the Head Track Coach at Gardiner HS this spring!  To say I'm pumped would be a complete understatement.   




SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

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.

Pros:
* 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


Cons:
* 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.  







SaveSaveSaveSave

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!