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Archive for July, 2011

Run stats
Distance: 5 miles
Time: 55:41
Average pace: 11’07”

Guess what today is?

It’s my birthday!

But not just any birthday, it’s my Golden Birthday (AKA Power Birthday, AKA Champagne Birthday).

Today, on the 31 I turned 31.

Normally, I would use any excuse to sleep in, a rare occurrence with a toddler in the house, but instead I got up early and went on my scheduled 5 mile long-run. The skies were blue and I was in an awesome mood, which made for a very enjoyable run. I listened to music and used the RunKeeper app on my phone (it FINALLY arrived). I created an activity (5 mile, steady run) and at intervals of 5 minutes the automated voice told me my time, distance and average pace. It was a whole lot easier than constantly glancing down at my watch.

I arrived home to the smell of Coconut Cherry Pancakes courtesy of my husband.

He also bought me some lovely treats including pure maple sugar, ice wine infused honey and a raspberry pecan vinaigrette.

I took a day off yesterday because I had to help a friend get to the next town over. I did take the boy and the dog for a walk in the morning but it involved a lot of waiting for Lincoln as he gathered rocks to throw in the river.

Here he is running down the trail – just like his momma.

I am going to take an extra day off from running this upcoming week because I have to attend a Council meeting on Tuesday night. I work in a Municipal government office and once a month I have to take the minutes at the meeting. Depending on what time I get home I’ll try to fit in some cross training.

Overall, it was a wonderful birthday spent with my family. A great way to start off my thirty-first year!

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I have had my Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve shirt for well over a week and I absolutely love it! I first laid eyes on this shirt in an ad on the back cover of the July 2011 issue of Runner’s World. The second I saw it I knew I had to have it despite the fact that the girl in the ad is dripping in sweat.

Lululemon uses the following points to describe the Run: Swiftly LS on their website.

  • Lightweight seamless performance top with mesh venting in high sweat areas
  • Body-skimming fit, perfect for layering
  • Knitted Silverescent® with X-static for anti-stink properties
  • X-static, the silver fibre, inhibits the growth of bacteria
  • Wicking to keep you dry
  • Chafe-resistant – flat seams
  • Don’t fiddle; thumbholes keep your sleeves down

I don’t know much about Silverescent (except that it’s made with Silver) but I do know that this shirt really lives up to it’s anti-stink claim. I wore the shirt for a week straight without washing and based on smell alone I could have kept wearing it no problem; however, that probably wouldn’t have been the most hygenic choice. Instead, I tossed it into the washing machine with the rest of my workout clothes, ran a cold wash, then hung it on the clothes line to dry – the shirt scores another point for easy washing. Just make sure there is no velcro in the wash, Lululemon clothing in general dislikes velcro.

I have worn this shirt in both warm and cool weather and it has been perfect for both, probably due to the wicking properties. The shirt is light and feels soft to the touch, delicate almost. It hugs the body and will make a great layering piece in the winter on my snow shoe adventures, just make sure it is worn against your skin or else you won’t benefit from those wicking properties I mentioned above.

I like to wear it with my thumbs through the thumbholes and when I get too hot I simply roll the sleeves up a little. I think all long-sleeve shirts should come with thumbholes, they just make everything seem so cozy. I would like to point out that I have long arms (it isn’t uncommon for sleeves to be too short for me) and the sleeves on the size 8 (medium) shirt fit me perfectly. For the record, I am 5’8″ which makes me wonder how this shirt would fit on shorter/smaller people. The overall length is also perfect and the shirt doesn’t ride up like some of the other ones I own, a big pet peeve of mine.

This shirt makes me excited that I am running my half-marathon in October because there is a better chance I will get to wear it on that day.

If not, no worries, I now own the Run: Swiftly Racerback and the just released Run: For Your Life tank is on the way so my basis are covered.

I think I am officially Lulu obsessed.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products I review on this site, nor am I being compensated for my views and opinions. These reviews are just that, my views and opinions. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always honest. 

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I have an ongoing debate with myself on whether or not I want to start running with music. Some days I feel like I could use the distraction music provides, but most days I just want to enjoy the peace and quiet after a day of work.

Runner’s World tweeted an article today originally published in the December 2010 issue of their magazine titled Running with Music: Running Debate – two sides of a very hot topic by Adam Bean.

As the title suggests, the article looks at the Pros and Cons of running with music. It’s an interesting read as a sports psychologist and a sports sociologist battle it out. Here are few of my favourite points:

“Running while listening to music also removes you from the environment you’re in, which can be unsafe…Would you ever drive or ride a bicycle with headphones on? Not likely, because doing so reduces awareness and increases reaction time.”

This is another big part of why I often choose to run sans music. I like to be aware of my surroundings. I live in a rural area where wild life is abundant; therefore, I want to know if a deer/bear/owl/crazyperson is about to sneak up on me from behind.

“The ability to be at peace and be calm is something we’ve lost in our culture; we’ve lost it in favor of multitasking. I would argue that listening to music—or podcasts or audio books—while running is a form of multitasking. It keeps us too plugged in and prevents us from enjoying the running experience.”

I multi-task in every other aspect of my life and definitely look forward to the peace and quiet that goes hand-in-hand with running. At the same time, I think music would be beneficial on those days where I really don’t want to lace up my sneakers.

The last point of the article suggests that “…the optimal method is generally two sessions with music for one session without. If you use music for every workout, you can become desensitized to it or rely on it in races.”

I think I’ll give this a try, once I get my play list completed that is.

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Wow. I obviously need more sleep in my life because last night I fell asleep before I even had a chance to start a new blog post. Or clean my house. Or have a post-run shower.

I woke-up at 9:00 pm, rolled out of the Doozer’s bed (I managed to read both of us to sleep), had a quick shower (no time in the mornings) and was in bed before 10:00 pm. I decided the post could wait until morning.

So here I am, the morning after a 2 mile run (sans GPS/phone) and feeling somewhat refreshed. Except I cracked my nose on a door frame this morning (don’t ask, I’m still trying to figure out how I managed that one!) and it is throbbing. I keep thinking that it’s a good thing I don’t run with my face or else I would not be a happy camper.

I have been running with a tensor bandage on my ankle for over the past week to help with an old boot camp injury. The tensor provides a little more support and makes me worry less about hurting it again. Well, last night I decided to fore go it since it was only a short run and guess what, it worked out just fine.

It felt fine on the run.

It felt fine after the run.

It feels fine right now.

I think all the running is making it stronger and I am thankful for that. I have also been focusing on some ankle strengthening exercises. I recently found this video on YouTube that I am going to start incorporating into my stretch and strength routine.

I also really like this towel scrunching exercise over at Runner’s World.

ANKLE STRENGTHENER

1. Sit in a chair and put a towel down on the floor in front of you.
2. Put your bare foot on the towel, and keep your heel on the ground.
3. Starting with your little toe, contract your toes to bunch up the towel tightly and sweep it toward the midline of your body. Imagine that you are bringing your little toe under your foot to meet your big toe.
4. Without moving your heel, continue to gather and sweep the towel until you have done 10 repetitions or you run out of towel. Switch feet and repeat.
[source]

Do you have any must-do exercises to help make you a better runner/athlete?

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The GPS watch battery is dead.

My phone still isn’t here.

I didn’t wear a watch.

I ran 3.5 miles without any technology to tell me how I was doing.

To be honest, it felt odd. I missed knowing my pace because I find it keeps me on track. There were a few times tonight where I felt really, really slow. And there were also a few times where I felt I was pushing too hard. I think this is why I like running with the GPS because it keeps me on track. Hopefully the phone is in the mailbox today.

However, I did listen to music on my run so I wasn’t completely technology-free. I put the iPod on shuffle and will definitely be adding this remix to my play list.

Thanks to everyone who sent me in their song choices so far. I am compiling a list and will let you know when it is complete. You still have time to send me your song – hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. 
Fun fact: I feel asleep writing this post last night. Do you think I may be lacking sleep? 🙂

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Today was stretch and strength day and I am happy to report that I actually stuck to the plan this week. I did a few circuits of five different strength exercises, some ab work and a bunch of different squats to help strengthen my legs. I always forget how much I love strength training.

My long-distance training partner Jillian over at Adventures in Training for a Half-marathon gave me a brilliant idea tonight. An idea that I need your help with. She asked me to send her my favourite running song. A song that means something to me and motivates me while I’m running. This song will be added to her play list to help motivate her while she is running. Since I don’t have a play list yet I thought this would be a great way to start building one. I have been contemplating whether I wanted to start running with music for a while now and I think it is what I need to take my running to the next level.

So please, help me out by sending me your favourite upbeat song that you love to run/workout/dance to and I’ll add it to my play list. Feel free to leave it in the comment section, or if you prefer send me an email to jennysimmonds7 [at] gmail [dot] com.

I haven’t completely decided what song I am going to share with Jillian, but in the meantime I sent her this:

I thought it would be a good song to remind her of her Canadian training partner when she is in the middle of her race, which incidentally is on the same day as mine (October 9, 2011). The only difference is she will be racing three hours before me in Boston, MA. This lovely lady has been on one heck of a journey and I am grateful to be able to share this experience with her – check out her blog, it is a great source of inspiration!

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Run Stats
Distance: 5 miles
Time: unknown
Pace: unknown

First it was the GPS losing a signal, this time it was the watch battery dying. I think someone is trying to tell me something. I know I ran the scheduled distance based on previous runs, and I know I finished in under hour, which means my pace was probably on par with what I have been running, so even though I don’t have any official data I still had a very enjoyable run.

I have new sneakers after all.

And man, were they ever comfortable.

No blisters.

No numb feet.

No sore toenails.

Nothing but squishy comfort.

Let’s all cross our fingers that they don’t get too blown out before the race. Hmmmm, maybe I should order another pair just in case.

Long-run days in the Simmonds’ houeshold also means it’s pancake day. Ever since we discovered this Blueberry Vanilla Bean Pancake recipe over at Oh She Glows we (OK, I) just can’t get enough. I like to save them for Sunday when I have a few extra minutes to savour them with a cup of coffee after a nice hot shower.We made them with fresh strawberries today and they were just as yummy.

I’m still trying to figure out what to eat prior to my run, and how long I should wait before I head out. This morning I opted for a banana smeared with some natural peanut butter. It did the trick for the 5 miles but I’ll definitely need something more for longer runs. I also remembered to bring water with me and that made a big difference. Now I just have to keep remembering.

Well, we are officially another week closer to race day.

Bring it on, Week 4. Bring. It. On.

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