I'm a fan of compression.
I've experimented with socks and sleeves, wearing them during a long training run, or after a run for recovery. While training for my first marathon I hadn't discovered compression yet, but I did use the socks for my second, to great effect. I honestly felt a huge difference in my recovery and performance that time around.
Since I work at a running store, I learned about the science behind compression. Basically, the material is tighter by the ankle, and gradually lessens as it stretches up the calf and to the knee. This helps force the blood back up to the heart, to increase circulation. This action helps keep the muscles fresh, to give support as needed and even help with injury recovery.
Thanks to the lovely folks at BrightLife Go,
I had a chance to choose a pair of compressions socks from their vast selection of different styles, price points and compression levels. I had a hard time picking just one, some of them were really cute, like this pair from Zensah:
I ultimately decided to go with a pair from Sigvarus, which was from the Athletic category:
The first thing that I noticed was how soft the socks were, with a cushioned bottom. They were definitely more comfortable that my other brand, and seemed more pliable, and easier to put on. Compression socks are a bit of a struggle to put on, like super tight panty hose, but these were a breeze.
I also liked the different panels, which you can see by the grey seams, one hugged my calf, the others, the arch of my foot.
I wore these a few times on the treadmill as I started training for the Boilermaker 15k, giving myself some extra help near my injured ankle. I was trying to be cautious as I slowly made my way back to longer runs.
I have a half marathon coming up on September 12. The other morning I ran nine miles, then spent the morning packing up the car for one of our trips to the ADK. I decided to put the socks on after my run, and wore them all day, until dinnertime, after we unloaded the car, unpacked, and made dinner. I happily woke up the next morning without any soreness or stiffness, just fresh feeling legs.
If you're in the market for compression (and I highly recommend it) head right over to BrightLife Go
and get shopping!!
*Note: I was sent a pair of socks for the purpose of this review, the opinions on the product are my own.
You know that saying, "Time Flies when you're having fun?" That seems to be an understatement, as it's suddenly August.
I have been feeling good these past several weeks. I have been running consistently, taking every opportunity I have to do so. The kids are now done with their summer camps, so this morning I forced myself out of bed and out the door to run six miles before Mike left for work. It was so worth it.
I know I have lost some weight, but I'm afraid to get on the scale, I'd rather go by my clothes than obsess about a number. I did put my skinny jeans on last week, I can button them, but if I sat down, I would blow the button off. My eating habits have gotten cleaner, it's so much easier in the summer with all the produce available at the farmers market. Now when I need a snack I try to ignore the chips and heat up some leftover roasted veggies, or pair them with hummus. I have figured out some minor things with my Doctor that have been going on with me physically, wich has also helped, and I'll go into more details about that in another post.
Post run, post shower, wet shirt, size 12 feet.
It's been almost a month since the Boilermaker, my eigth one! I trained well for it, my sister in law J and I tackled some pretty intense hills during our long runs leading up to race day. J and I ran it for the first time nine years ago, and in the past couple of years, ran with various groups of friends. This year, our friends had to drop out of the race for various reasons, so it came full circle, as it was just the two of us again this go around.
Race day was actually really nice, the sun was out as usual, but there was a breeze and no humidity, it didn't get hot until mile 8. I kept a consistent pace, drank water just when I was thirsty, and had a couple of GU chomps here and there. It's funny how my perspective on time has changed, unlike past years, I didn't even look at what my finish time was, I was just happy to run a good race. We didn't stay at the after party for too long, choosing instead to head home to a lunch of chicken from the smoker, courtesy of my brother in law.
I had a chance to try out Sigvarus Compression socks from the lovely folks at BrightLife Go
, so check back tomorrow for my review!
It is February 25, and in this month alone, we have had 20 days of sub-zero temperatures. The kids maxed out their snow days, our driveway is shrinking due to snow banks, and our family room ceiling has cracked and water has been leaking on the floor for the past week due to ice dams.
But Daylight Saving is next weekend, so Spring must be on it's way!
Since we last spoke about my health and fitness goals, I seem to be making some progress. I still haven't stepped on the scale, I have a tendency to obsess about the number so I decided to forgo it and continue to let my clothing be my guide. My "larger" sized jeans are fitting much better (ex: I can button them) so the weight I gained after breaking my ankle must be gone.
Food wise I've had my ups and downs, my birthday in January plus Valentine's Day ended up with cake and chocolate on my kitchen table. Now that it is Lent I've given up chocolate, which is what I usually do. I had a battle with a bag of BBQ Lay's chips, and ended up sending them to work with Mike to save myself.
I'm still eating my fruits and veggies, which has never been a problem. I've been making soup on the days I'm not working, besides a great lunch, a bowl at four o'clock when the snacks are calling to me seems to help fight the hunger pains. I do love vegetables, always have. The other day Mike came home from the store with a cabbage, he saw it and thought I would like it. Who needs flowers? Nothing says love like a head of cabbage.
Next weekend is the Shamrock Run, which I'm really looking forward to. Today I ran/slow ran on a high incline four miles on the treadmill, my longest post injury. My last three mile run, I tweaked my knee on the same leg that has the ankle/Achilles issue, so I must still have some weakness there. But today I felt great, rode the bike as well and did some planks and PT exercises. Great day in the pain cave!
I tried out a new pair of shoes that I got from work, they are the Newton Kismet. They aren't a true stability shoe like I usually wear, but my orthotics fit the shoe really well, and they felt great. They have five lugs under the mid-foot, and end right before your toes. It does take a bit of getting used to, my toes feel like I'm hanging off the edge of a box.
Plus they're pretty, and if you look closely at the above photo, Frank is practically standing on them.
I grew up in an area along the Long Island Sound, in one of two small towns surrounded by trees and water. It was an idyllic surrounding, an easy place to make and keep friends as our schools were small. I graduated in a class of only 149 students.
Sadly, in a community that small, we have had what I feel is too many losses. The latest is the passing of my childhood friend Rose, after living with brain cancer for the past two and a half years.
I say living because after her diagnosis, she did everything she could to fight the disease, but also to live every second of her life. Rose was active, she loved to play tennis, we got to be friends while playing on the team in high school. Her husband started a twitter feed to keep everyone updated on her progress, one tweet still amazes me, after a session of chemo Rose went out for a run!
In every photo, Rose is immaculately dressed, in colorful tunics and beautiful shift dresses paired with fancy flats, her blond hair long, then short after chemo.
For a little while it seemed her tumors were stable, she and her husband took their three children on numerous trips, to Disney, to ski, to the beach. Rose herself went to London to attend Wimbledon. Rose went to her children's events at school and celebrated her daughter's First Communions.
I once googled her type of cancer, which has a two year survival rate. With all that she did, I truly believed Rose would be the one to beat it, and live a long life.
A week ago Rose was battling an infection, and new tumors were found. Her sister asked on facebook for friends to send messages for her to read to Rose. I shared a memory of a trip we took with the school newspaper, to Syracuse University of all places. We stayed in a hotel shaped like a circle, the hallway was a perfect place to have an ice fight as we raced after each other. Rose called it a "geeken" trip which makes me laugh.
I haven't seen Rose in quite a while, but she has truly inspired me to live my life as fully as I can. To trust in my faith in God, to appreciate every moment with my children, husband, family and friends. To take care of myself and others. Day to day annoyances or stress is trivial compared to what you can lose.
I still can't wrap my head around the fact that such a vibrant, beautiful soul is gone, and my heart breaks for her husband and children, who are all so young, I am praying so hard for them all.
God Bless you Rose, I know you are at peace.
I don't usually enjoy January. It's cold, and all the holiday spirit has been packed away. This year is different though. My mind is clear and focused on what I want to accomplish this year, and hey, there is always something to look forward to.
On area that I have been working on is my fitness. I'm looking at my broken ankle and achilles tendonitis not as a blessing, but after healing, I now have a true clean slate to get my body back. Mike got me a bike trainer for Christmas, I set it up in the basement next to my treadmill, and moved some weights there too. Now I have my very own pain cave! I was good about going to PT, and was cleared for activity last week. As long as I stay on top of keeping the achillies healthy, I can start running.
Starting from the beginning again is hard, but I've done it before. Instead of weighing myself, I've decided to just put my head down and soldier through. When I get back into my favorite size 8 jeans I will then weigh myself so that I have a number that I need to hover around to stay healthy. I will say that I do need to lose 30 pounds. Ugh. It's one thing to know it in your brain, it's another to see it in print.
Instead of following a specific diet, I am going to make smarter choices. By now I know what I need to eat to lose weight, my problem is that I'm not disciplined. I need to be aware of what I'm putting in my mouth
. I've realized that I eat mindlessly. At work I walk by the snack table and reach out to grab an m&m. It happened the other day, and I pulled my arm back when I realized what I was doing. As I talk to Mike in our kitchen after work, I watch myself turn from him, open the cabinet, then the bag of chips. Again, I stopped myself. It's little things like that. Taking a few bites of the kid's leftovers. Having just a couple of Mike's fries at lunch. A little bit of this and a bit of that adds up. To a lot!!
It feels really good to move again. In this area I have to keep focusing on cross training. Today I got on the treadmill and slowly ran two miles! I felt good, I kept my pace around 11 minute miles, but I have to be cautious until I get my ankle sleeve. After that I rode the bike for 20 minutes, which is going to be key, if I have only ten minutes I'm still going to use the bike to complement my running.
I'm hoping to go to the pool as well, when my schedule allows it. Finally, every day I need to do the exercises my PT gave me for my injuries, and I've added planks to my sessions as well.
So that's my plan. I'm looking at it as a lifestyle change, that I will stick to long term, not a diet that will have an end point. I want long term success, not a short term fix.
Okay, here I go!