Monday, August 30, 2010

New Miles, New Shoes, New Opportunities

That is the title that I used for my diary this week in the Chicago Marathon blog.  Click on over here to see a recap of my last week of running. 

Enjoy today, as the summer heat is back in full gear here in MI!!!! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oiselle Clothing Review

I had the opportunity to test out some new gear. Oiselle,  a company founded by Sally Bergesen,   was so gracious to let me try out a shirt and a pair of shorts. ,

Per Oiselle's website ,  Oiselle (pronounced Wa-zell) A French word for Bird, it alludes to the feeling of weightlessness that most runners know and love.  the sense of flight where your legs go fast and your heart goes free. 

Trying out new gear can be fun and scary.  You already know what your 'favorite' shirts, shorts, etc.. feel like; so you have high expectations for your new clothing.  I wanted to make sure that I gave this gear a good review, so I came up with a few 'standard questions' that I was going to ask myself about it ( I plan on using this type of format for future reviews.   I am open to suggestions if you think there is something I'm missing, or you would like more details on)  My goal in finding good equipment is value.  I don't search out the cheapest price, nor do I buy into name brand logos. I expect a high level of performance at a fair price.  This may come from your trusted name brands, or someplace unexpected.  
  1. Fit according to size
  2. Material
  3. Chafing/ Rubbing issues
  4. Clothes riding up or falling down
  5. Ability to get off of body after a strenuous workout
  6. Price comparable
  7. Accessory Capable
  8. Compared to 'favorite item of mine'

I had the opportunity to try their 'Isabel Shimmel Shirt', in Oiselle orange and the 'Lori Shorts' in black. I decided what better way to test this gear out, than give it an entire week worth of running and wearing.  Don't worry I washed it after each run.  The clothing endured 29 miles of running and 4 washings within 5 days. 
  1.  Fit according to size-  I ordered a size Medium, according to their size chart, for both, the top and the bottom.  They both fit perfectly.
  2. Material- The Isabel Shimmel shirt is made of 89% Polyester and 11% Spandex (which makes this shirt very light).  As their name implies, I felt free as a 'bird' wearing it.  The Lori Shorts are 100% polyester. 
  3. Chafing/ Rubbing Issues-  The shirt causes absolutely no issues of any sort.  The shorts, surprisingly after the 4th run of the week ( which was  a 12 mile run) yielded me a small chafe mark ( about the size of a dime). Located just above my tailbone where the waistband is.  I never felt them chaffing at all until I stepped into the shower.  Considering I wore them for a week straight, I would say overall, no issues.  I think if they were in a normal rotation there would be no chafing. 
  4. Clothing riding up or falling down-  Shirt again, no problem (Can you tell yet that I love this shirt).  The shorts were riding up a little but nothing to bad.  This was most noticeable on my long runs (8 and 12), the material of these shorts seems to almost repel water ( I could see the water beading up on the outside of my shorts).  That is everywhere, except for the inner thigh part of the shorts.  Not sure if the water was just gravitating towards that part of the shorts but all the moisture seemed to be sitting there.  When I would slow down or stop for some water, the shorts would ride up.  But again nothing that I couldn't run through. 
  5. Ability to get off of body after a strenuous workout -  Both of these I could get off easily, which I was very excited about.  I have found out with other garments, especially the razor back type shirts that once they get wet they are very hard to slide off.  But not this shirt, even after being soaking wet.  
  6. Price comparable:  Isabel Shimmel Shirt retails for $46  and the Lori Shorts retail for $36.   These prices are compared to Road Runner Sports (RRS), which is where most of my gear is from.  My current RRS shirt ( that is close to the Oiselle one) retails for $34.99.  I would gladly pay the extra $11 for this very lightweight shirt.  My RRS shorts retail for $29.99
  7. Accessory Capable- The shirt has no pockets for accessories, but does have a built in bra.  The shorts have what they call a 'key pocket', that is tucked in between the shorts and the liner (which I really liked).  I didn't use this pocket for a key, I used it as a holder for my MP3 player.  Which was great!!  Most of my current shorts have their 'key pockets', on the inside of the liner, near your body.  Between the liner and the shorts is more comfortable. 
  8. Compared to 'favorite item of mine' -  Well, Oiselle you will be happy to know that your Isabel Shimmel Shirt is my new favorite razor back shirt.  I currently own another shirt (from RRS) but yours is so light and comfortable.  I truthfully feel free as a 'bird' LOVE IT.  The Lori Shorts- I would place as number 2, in my stack of running shorts ( I currently  own 5 pairs).  Things that put them at 2; riding up (a little), no extra gear pocket and holding moisture.  Even though they are made of the exact same material as all of my other shorts, they seemed a little heavier.  That being said they are still my second choice. You couldn't go wrong with these shorts.  They will see many more miles.  '

Overall, I would give Oiselle 2 thumbs up.  Their clothing is very comfortable.  I was very impressed with the razorback shirt.  Pricing for their products is on par with other competitors.  Quality is exceptional.  Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to review your gear.  Head on over to Oiselle and get some new gear.  

*Disclaimer, I was not paid to do this review, this is just my opinion *

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Twice in one day blogging away.    So, as I posted in my last blog I am really trying to figure out this supplement thing for long runs.   I talked to someone today at our local shoe store Gazelles  and she  recommended Cliff Shot Bloks, Energy Beans, Gu, etc... , she basically said it depends upon what you can stomach during your run.  She did say the big key is making sure that you are properly hydrated and especially on long runs, to start 'fueling' yourself early in the run.    Very true.   I did pick up a package of Gu, cliff shot bloks and sports beans ( I will slowly experiment with them)

But here is my thing-  why do I want to give my body and bunch of stuff that I don't understand ( hence the ingredients on the back of the package).  Are these supplements better for you than straight up food?  I would much rather fuel myself with the 'real' stuff than 'made up' stuff.  I found this interesting article. 
What do you think? 

Has anyone ever tried making there own energy bars?   I LOVE to cook and make healthy food.  

Week in Review

Wow- it is very hard to beleive that another week of marathon training / summer vacation has slipped by.  School is starting very soon (Tuesday after Labor Day)  for my older 3 kids and the marathon is only 43 days away.  Time is flying by.  

I am happy to report that I did get all my runs in for the week,  which as we all know is sometimes a huge feat. I got a total of 29 miles ( a step back week), which has felt so nice.   The miles went like this -      Monday 4 miles in 38:00   Tuesday 8 miles 76:30  
Wednesday 5 miles 47:03  Friday  12 miles 1:59:48

Question:  Do you ever have runs where your overall time is good (my 12 mile run above) but you are still disappointed in the outcome?  Why is that?   My goal for the 12 miles was 2:00,  I broke it (not by much, but I did). So why am I sad?  Because I got a headache (described below), got a side stitch that took me to walking for a few strides.  I don't know.  I really shouldn't be mad or sad, but I am.  The goal really is just to clear miles,  while improving, right.     I should be ecstatic, last year at this time, I got injured and was never able to complete anymore of my marathon training ( so now I am in unknown territory). 

Still trying to experiment and find the right 'fuel' for my long runs.  If you read my Chicago Marathon blog from last week, I have not needed / used any supplements during my long runs.  But now  I am running out of energy on the long runs.  Yesterday, I tried GU gummies (for the first time, thanks to my friend B).  Well, I will be truthful- I didnt really feel any different from if I had them or not.  The only thing that I did notice was that I got a headache about a 1 mile after I took them.  Is it purely coincidence or can headache be a side affect?    What do you use? Lots of other sites out there have been talking about proper fueling during long runs,  but there is so much information and so many things that can be taken before, during and after that it almost gets overwhelming.   I think I have the before and after figured out but am still lost during.   It gets so scary to experiment with only 6 weeks to go until the marathon,  but at the same I would rather know now than later.  Does that make sense?    I would like to have a game plan for next weekend , planned long run 18 miles. 

Have a wonderful weekend.  Looks like it is supposed to be beautiful here, summer is making one last showing

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chica Band Review

Meg Perez, the Commander in Chica of ,Chica Bands  contacted me and asked me if I would like to try their headbands while I train for the Chicago Marathon.  Yes!!!  I would love to do that.

From the Chica Band site.

Finally! A Hair Band that won't slip!
Chica Bands™ is a no-nonsense, affordable necessity for active women and girls – no matter your sport, or hobby. We, at Chica Bands™, are runners… Strong, active women who want to help instill in you the same passion we feel for our workouts by removing the “hair hassle”. Like you, when we hit the open road, treadmill, track, field, or gym, we want nothing between ourselves and our workout... Especially our hair! So what’s a girl to do? Strap on a Chica Band™! An innovative hair band made with a special lining that keeps the band in place on your head – no matter how hard you work out. No slipping. No kidding!

I have alot of hair and up until this point I have never found a product that will stay in my hair and not slip.  Well, I have some great news for you .  Chica Bands- No kidding,  no slipping!!!!  I got the honor of trying 2 of their 1 inch bands,  Flower Child and Baby Blue on Brown.   First up for the testing was the 'Flower Child',  this one got the 4 mile treadmill test.  Holy mackerel that baby did not move  ( my pony tail kept falling out), but the hair band stayed in place and kept the hair off my face.   2 thumbs up!!!  Next test 'Baby Blue on Brown', this one got the outdoor 16 mile beating.  First off, when I started the run with my friend she said 'Cute head band'.  I thought so too.  I will tell you the truth, the band was so comfortable that I actually forgot that it was even there.  I am one that normally pulls my hair back and then throws on a  running cap -  so this was a new experience for me.  16 miles of running and sweating,  with no movement from the Chica Band.  It held my hair off my face the entire time. 

I was also given the chance to try their 1 1/2 inch Orange Fandango;  The larger ones are to be worn for fashion or causal purposes.  How fun is that!!!  Hair bands that can be used during sports activity's and then turned into an accessory for the evening.

I have since put an additional 17 miles on these bands,  they are great!! No slipping of any kind, keeping my hair out of my face

One of the neat things about these bands is that they do not need to be washed every time.  They will be soaking wet when you are done with your run , but that is ok.  Just hang them on a door knob and they will dry before you know it ( with no smell either).  How great is that, something that will dry on its own and be odor free.   Now if you do feel as though you must wash them, just hand wash and hang up. 

Head on over to Chica Bands and get some of your own,  they have a fantastic deal going on right now.

**Disclaimer- I was not paid to try this product out, this is my own opinion**

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Triple Tuesday Trivia

Ok- So I have a few questions for you

1)  What do you listen to when you run ? Music (playlist, radio), nothing , podcasts, ??
My answer to this depends. I have a playlist, which I like to run to BUT for some reason when I listen to the radio I end up with faster times.  Not sure why.

2) When you run on a treadmill do you run at a constast speed or do you vary??
Me, I vary.  I usually start at one speed (6.0) and then slowly increase the speed, usually up to 7.0

3) How long does it take for you to get warmed up?  When does the run seem to become easier?
Me, it takes about 4 miles to warm up

Bonus question 
For all the chocolate milk recovery drinkers out there- what is your favorite brand???  


100 day challenge

As I was talking about goals yesterday , I thought how appropriate was this.  Courtney, over at 'Run Court Run' is having a 100 day challenge.  It is more of a personal challenge- 'what would you like to accomplish within 100 days' (starting yesterday).  So I figured- join up,  we can all use extra motivation/ inspiration to achieve our goals.  I will defiantly need the motivation after the marathon, to keep going.  I know I mentioned these goals yesterday but this is exactly what I shared with Courtney and the others that are taking on the challenge.

1)  Set my new PR at the Park2Park half marathon, 
2) Finish Chicago Marathon in 4:48 (or faster),
3) Complete 1000 miles of running by Dec 31st, 
4) Get others interested in running/ fitness/ health

Please keep me accountable for these.!!!  Thanks Courtney for starting the challenge. 

Have a wonderful day!!!!   


Monday, August 23, 2010

4 more miles in- working towards my goal

4 more done-
Why is it that your kids ignore you all day long until you want to do something?  I told them, "Continue playing, I am going to jump on the treadmill and get my run out of the way"  Ok was thier response.  I was in the basement and was watching them through the window; and then they saw me.  That was it-  1000 question session
"Mom when are you going to be done"
"Mom, why are you in daddys work shop?"   (umm that is where the treadmill is)
"Mom we are outside"
"Mom can we have a snack when you are done"
etc.... etc... etc....
Now, of course, I am done-  has anyone said a word NO

But I pushed through and finished 4 more miles in 38 min.  I am not sure why but man running on the treadmill right now is so much harder than running outside.  I have heard that you usually go slower outside than you do inside but I dont know, I am much faster outside than I am inside.  Oh well,  I continue to do both for variety and due to schedule issues. 

Goals-  I had a few goals this year
1) Complete the Chicago Marathon in a time of 4:48 (or less)
2) Run 1000 miles this year.  I don't know I am at 569,  that leave 431 . It is feasible, should be interesting to see if I can achieve it or how close I will get. 
3) Get as many people interested in fitness/running  as possible.  

How about you- does anyone have any goals out there that they would like to share with me?

Until next time. 

Start to a new week

Well, just finished up week 23 of marathon training-  32 miles worth.  That was the most that I have run in a long time.  It is pretty funny when you are joking that this is  'low' week at  29 miles,  with a 'long' run of 12 miles.   

I was pretty sore after last weeks 16 miler,  not sure if it was the humidity, not enough crabs the night before, not enough supplements during the run-  who knows.  Can only learn and continue on. 

Took my girls to get their hair cut today-  gearing up for school to start.  Still have 2 weeks of summer vacation left!!!! 

If you want the complete break down on my last week of training click here;  it should be updated soon. 

Enjoy your week;  will try to update more soon. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Love love loving this weather

Agan, I can not say how much a drop in temperature and humidty is incredible.  Got back from a 8 mile run; despite dodging the dogs that were running around peoples yards and the people that were backing out of there driveways I still had a great run.  I felt as though I was going slow, but to my surprise-  NOPE-  I held a 9 min pace for 8 miles.  CRAZY.  Looking back again, last year it took me 87 min,  this year 72.  WOW!!!   It is making me wonder,  how far/ fast could I go with more training/ time.

Was wondering , does taking all 4 of my kids to the grocery store count as cross training?  I think I was sweating by the time I left the store.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The weather 'broke' for now

Can I say how much I love that the temperature decided to drop and the humidty basically decided to go away.  What a HUGE difference that can make.  4 miles of running -  it was so comfortable.  Finished in the my new personal PR-  4 miles 35:27!!!    I know that I cant keep that pace over 26.2 miles but over 4 is amazing (at least for me).

Do you have a running journal?  I love looking back over the year and seeing how my runs compared to last year (and years before) . This year avg 8:51 pace, last year 10:44 pace-   wow, that is almost a 2 minute difference.  

Enjoy the cool weather before the summer heat decides to make an appearance again!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

End of training week 22

Holy cow, I cant believe that the Chicago marathon is less than 2 months away.  My new blog just posted on the Chicago Marathon webpage,  check it out. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Up and "running"

I am so excited to be starting this blog. Let me tell you a little about myself.  I am 35 years old and married to a wonderful man!!!  We have been married for 11 years.   As I have said before, if it wasnt for him, I would not be where I am today.    I am also a mom to 4 kids,  2 girls and 2 boys-  9,7,4,2.  Life can get pretty crazy around here. 

Running-  wow,   I LOVE IT.    I f you would of asked that question 5 years ago, I would of given you a totally different answer.  Why?  Because I was not a runner then.  I took up running just 2 1/2 years ago (Feb 2008).  At that point I had never ran a day ( well, unless you count chasing my kids).  But here I am now, Aug 2010, having ran  2 5k , 3 half marathons,  and 1 full marathon.  Not only that- but this year I was chosen to be diary writer for the Chicago Marathon
How crazy is that!!!
So, here I am training for my 2nd time around at the Chicago Marathon.  In the mean time, I am going to run the Park 2 Park Half Marathon, in Holland MI  .  My as well, since I have to run 13 miles that day anyway.

I can also be found, on my fitness page via Facebook; join in the Challenge.  Take on the  Fitness!!!!/group.php?gid=262906941451&ref=ts