BibRave, Product Review, Run!

#SKINSorNOTHING

Disclaimer: I received a pair of A400 Compression Shorts from SKINS to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I normally try to come up with catchy titles for my reviews but nothing can really top their own hashtag.   😀

When the chance came up to test compression shorts from SKINS, I was excited.  The brand I was wearing no longer made the style I owned and my pair was getting a little ragged.   The weather here was staying pretty warm so shorts would be fine for a few months.


The website has a handy little size calculator which I took advantage of but I was still a little concerned when the shorts seemed really small upon arrival.   Then a little more concerned when they seemed snug around my calves when pulling them on.  Ummm, my thighs are bigger than my calves, how is this going to work?   Surprisingly well- the material is like magic!  Silky soft and stretchy but tight in the right places.   How do they do that?

Ok, let’s get technical-

  1. Innovative ADAPTIVE Technology keeps you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot
  2. A-Seams for comfort and durability without chafing
  3. 360 degree reflectivity
  4. Lower rise sits comfortably on the hips
  5. Easily accessible waistband pocket
  6. Wider waistband for comfort
Dynamic Gradient Compression
SKINS most advanced compression technology increases muscle oxygenation, stabilizes active muscles and reduces blood lactate build up, to enhance performance and speed up recovery time.

Now, I am a big fan of compression so what did I think of these?


They were longer than I thought they would be. They felt a little snug on the first run- maybe too snug.  Either that I was just now realizing how badly my last pair had worn out.  After a few miles my legs felt great.   That was the only time the legs felt too tight.  Every other time has been golden.  I’ve worn them for short runs, almost every long run since (dang laundry issues!) and my trail race.  In fact, the only parts of my body that didn’t hurt post trail race with all its’ hills were the parts covered by the shorts.  Coincidence? Probably not.

I feel like the longer my run the better my legs feel in them.  My upper legs have felt great on my long runs lately.   I credit the shorts because the rest of me is falling apart.😛


I wash them after each run and they’ve held up great so far.  I do line dry them.  But I line dry 80% of my clothing so that’s no big deal.

My one gripe is the waist.  If you check the data I pulled from the website up there⬆️ it says “lower rise sits… on hips”.  Umm, not so much.  At least not for me.   The shorts go up to my rib cage.  That is high people!    Now I don’t know if I just have an odd shaped torso or if I need a smaller size.   I honestly don’t think I could fit into a smaller size but maybe I’m wrong?  Maybe I should try folding down the waist band.  We’ll see.  

Waist height aside, I kind of love these shorts. 🙂

Check out more opinions- some people tested the full pants-

LindseyJessica  

Want your own? Use code BIBRAVE20 to save 20%. 

What do you run in? 

Run!, Slacker

Changing it Up

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Last year I went on numerous hikes/ trail runs.  I would power walk up and run like a crazy person down them.  It was fun.   🙂   This year, with so many races and wanting to PR  a few, I was leery of trails.   Too afraid I would do something stupid and hurt myself.  Ego got in the way of fun.   😦     With my recent inability to maintain pace, I have decided to treat it like  good thing and get back off-road.  With that line of thought, I went and bought myself something pretty-trailshoesI figured that maybe an actual pair of trail shoes would be a good idea.  A little more traction for the times I careen wildly down a hillside.    Plus the purchase would help me guilt me into following through when I am feeling like a slacker.   🙂   Trails are the place where I have fun and don’t mentally berate myself for my pace.   I took my shoes for 3.5 mile spin around the lake in the dirt on Tuesday.   They felt great, so today is was time for a baby trail.

The easy part
The easy part

I was looking to start small, so my mom and I headed to the trail from the Firehouse 5K run.    It’s around 3 miles, give or take.  We headed up the back way, thinking we would hit the switchbacks on the way down.  Fine by me, switchbacks suck.     My shoes felt great in the loose dirt.  The only problem was my huffing and puffing.  It wasn’t humid so I thought I could get by without using my inhaler.  No luck, but I also hadn’t been stupid enough to leave it behind.    Gaining 500 ft in 3/4 of mile didn’t help either, but after using it I was fine.   The rest was mostly downhill, ha!

We made it! ( a little windy, too!)
We made it! ( a little windy, too!)

IMG_6789 IMG_6759The view from the top* was great as usual.  My mom wanted to go down a different path just to see where it went.   I think we lost most of that 500 feet in 1/4 mile.  I like downhill but this was ridiculous.  The sand was so loose, we kept sliding.  We slowed to a crawl-like pace but we made it.   Thank you shoes.  We came across a Y in the trail so we just picked one.  It led to another Y and again we just picked one.  The mountain’s not that big so we figured we wouldn’t get too turned around.  Plus this leaves more trails to explore another day.      IMG_6762

Where I started sliding
Where I started sliding

A little past 2 miles, we could see the road and figured that we had accidentally cut the hike super short.  It was getting pretty hot so we decided that we could deal with that instead of heading back the way we came.  Coming down the trail we came across 2 rows of white stone boxes on the right side and a few more on the left.  One was open, empty and a little broken.     Being the smart asses that we are, we start cracking jokes about the X-Files and vampires.

very large and ominous looking
very large and ominous looking

It looked like we were coming into the back of a park.  As we got closer we realized it was a cemetery.    Ok, the boxes make a little more sense.  But still stone?  Bad form for our previous wise cracks.   It was very pretty as we walked through to get back to main road. But I was also confused because the headstones seemed really close together.   I did Google it later and found that due to flooding over the years, not only have headstones moved but some graves have as well.  Some were moved to other cemeteries but the records are not the best.   IMG_6784

We came out on a rural highway.  We were actually about 1/2 mile away from where we parked but the road had wide shoulders.     Walking back put us around 3 miles.  It took us about an hour though, so it felt like a good workout.   So now it’s on to the next trail.  🙂

*I took a pretty cool panorama but it refuses to load-ugh.

How was your weekend?

Ever get turned around and end somewhere totally random on a run/ hike?

What’s the strangest thing you’ve encountered?

oops!, Race Day, Recap, Run!, Slacker

Rock’n Around the Pier 13.1- Recap

The one where I went into damage control at mile 3.  😦

If 2013 was the year of the PR, then 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the bonk.  At least as far as half marathons are concerned.   But I have to say that this is first race I ever seriously considered quitting.  Even when I ran out steam at mile 7.5 at SLO, I still knew I was going to finish, it was just going to be slow.IMG_5481

For once, I felt like I slept really well the night before this race. I woke up on time and made it to pick up NikeC by 5:30.  My stomach was being its usual self, so I did not eat prior to the race.  This is typical though, so I don’t think it affected me too much.   Parking was easy but time-consuming, the race was smaller than last year, it had about 200 for the half marathon and just under 1000 for the 10K, but parking was limited.  Once parked, we geared up, met up with NikeC’s friend and headed to the bathroom.  Which was where we were when the starting gun went off.    Last year I was still running to the chute when the gun went off, oops.  Thank goodness for chip timing.   We made our way to the chute and were off.IMG_5447

Slowly as there were 100 yards of softer sand to get through at the beginning.  Once on the hard pack, it was easier to run.  I lost both of them fairly quickly.  One moment they were to my left and then they were gone.   Last year’s race was overcast, this year the sun was shining and the ocean was gorgeous.  Last years 10K went so well (easy) that I had minor hopes for a birthday PR but I knew my speed was iffy thanks to my month of stomach issues.   Realistically, though, I was aiming for under 2:10.  So all I had to do was stay under a 10 minute mile- I got that right?  Ummm…IMG_5457

Mile 1- 9:45 -ok, slower than I’d like but there was soft sand
Mile 2-9:45– hmmm felt way faster than that, but consistent at least.  If only this stomach cramp would go away.
Mile 3- 9:51 felt like I had already run the full 13, shifted to a run/ walk method
Mile 4– 10:02 I just choked on air, walk break, take a few pictures.  Now the cramp is on the other side.
Mile 510:09 Wheezing, need air, where’s my inhaler?  Yes nice man in front of me I see the dolphins (which now I think was awesome but then, not so much.)
Mile 6- 9:47 I refuse to hit the turnaround (10K) past the hour mark, pick it up!
6.2 mark– Turn around 59:08-Man, I wish I was doing the 10K.
Mile 7-10:18  oh, my god, why is this so hard
Mile 810:24– my run .9/ walk .1 is falling apart, walking more often and longer
Mile 911:09 another sudden need for my inhaler. Man the water is so much closer now.
Mile 1011:25 oh hell, I could take my shoes and socks off and just walk leisurely back to the finish.  I’m mostly walking anyways.  Oh fisherman, please don’t cast your reel at me, that would hurt.
Mile 1112:15 Oh, what hell is this?  To make 13.1, we had to go up through the dunes to run a mile on a paved path.  I could have crawled faster through the sand. Is it hot? Why am I so hot?
Mile 12- 11:57  Made it to a 9:20 pace on the pavement, soft sand on the way back to the beach brought me back down.
Mile 1311:15  Why is this mile so long!!  I feel like I have been staring at the finish line in the distance forever.   Ugh, just keep running.

This was just evil
This was just evil

Finish- 2:20:21   Ouch.  Literally and figuratively.   My calves were on fire.  Even with running in compression socks, I was so sore by the time I crossed the finish line.  My chip was cut off as I was handed my medal.  It’s freakin’ awesome!  That helped alleviate some of my irritation.   I drank some water and chatted with my family while waiting for NikeC to finish.

This is how we get family pictures
This is how we get family pictures
So shiny! And huge!
So shiny! And huge!

Running a race with a friend was awesome.  It was great at the starting line, and we passed each other twice on the course which was a great little pick-me-up.  The finish line was fun too.  I am looking forward to our next race.  🙂IMG_5533

The brother playing with his GoPro
The brother playing with his GoPro

The race course itself was amazing.   Blue skies and blue ocean, and the beach, come on.  Seagulls and dolphins, too.   Given how close the water was on the way back, I understood the early start time more.   There was plenty of water stops.   They had volunteers directing where to turn around and when to turn off the beach.   My only 2 slight negatives were- no on course bathrooms, and I never saw a mile marker.    Now I was pretty much head down in misery from mile 3 on but I still think I would have seen at least one.  As for bathrooms, I realize that it was on the beach and I have never used a bathroom during a race but it’s nice to know they are there if you need one.IMG_5465

For the cost of this race, 50 bucks!, the swag was amazing and I think the medal may be my new favorite.  Plus there was live music and an amazing breakfast buffet at the finish line, eggs, sausage, orange juice, etc.   I only wish I felt like trying some of it.IMG_5459

We headed out shortly after that.     I was having a little shindig that evening for my birthday that I had to get ready for.    Yesterday I was oddly sore in weird places.  My butt and my lower back hurt, guess I ran differently on the sand this time than previous races.

Overall, this race was part of a great day.  Yes, I was seriously disappointed in my performance but hey, I didn’t quit!  I need to figure out what is going with my stomach so I can get back to speed work.   Right now I have no idea how ever ran a 2:05 let alone trying to fathom breaking 2:00.  My next half is in 8 weeks, and it’s flat and paved, so fingers crossed, my time will start heading in the right direction.

Anyone else race this weekend?

Ever run on the beach?

 

 

 

 

Run!, Slacker

Intervals and a Big Oops

Hooray, it’s Friday!!!!

Who’s racing this weekend?

Today was a pretty good day.  I worked the early shift at work and was even able to get off a little early.   I have an awesome boss.  I mean I really do, yesterday, while parallel parking I bumped her car.   Like our bumpers were kissing.  I swear I checked before turning off my car.  I never felt a bump, apparently I am just that skillful at backing up. Ha!  No damage at all but it was a momentary panic attack.  Did I mention it’s review time?!  Part of today was spent doing battle with my usual Friday temptation-one day I will resist, I will be strong.  It just wasn’t today.

Cookie Friday!!!!
Cookie Friday!!!!

I have however been strong on the no soda during the week.  🙂  I have not had any soda since I randomly quit at 10:00 AM Tuesday morning.  No headaches to speak of, but I have been draggggggging.   With that being said, I did make it to the gym on Thursday night for an easy interval run.

intervals
Prettier than a treadmill

Normally I manually change the speed anytime I want but I decided to try the interval option instead.   First question it asked was what my weight was?  Nosy much?  Why does my weight affect the speed settings on a treadmill?  And why do they call it jogging speed?  For the sake of all of our delicate egos they should call it something like “fast” and “lightening fast” not “jogging” and “running”.  Ok, mini rant over.  Having to push the button just once to change speeds was nice though.

My intervals looked something like this-

Length (miles) Speed
1.25 5.8
.75 6.3
.25 5.8
.75 6.3
.5 5.8
1.00 6.3
.50 5.8

Total- 5 miles not counting warmup or cool down.

(glad to hear I’m not the only one turns off the watch for those!!)

I admit to taking it slightly easy.  Even with having a cup of coffee in the morning, I am seriously missing the caffeine.   While driving to the gym that night, I told myself I only had to run 4 not the 5 that I planned.  Once I was running though, I figured I could run 5 and thankfully there was nothing freaky on the tv’s.   Whoever is changing the channels needs to stop, Wednesday night, the tv had Devour-Return of the Man Eating Snake on.  I thought I was going to have nightmares about albino pythons eating crocodiles.   Yuck!

All in all it was a good run, it felt like productive miles not just filler miles.  There were some runs in January that felt like mostly filler.  Today was like most Fridays- a rest day.   After leaving work, I fought the Friday crowd at Trader Joe’s- not a good idea- before heading home.   The mail delivered presents!!!!!

Oh, wow that's pink
Oh, wow that’s pink

I just ordered them Tuesday night so the shipping was great!  Have to say that these are my first pairs of compression socks.   Oh the shame  🙂  Anytime my pics showed me in knee socks, they were derby socks.   I am eager to test them out on my long run this weekend.  The weather is calling for rain on Saturday so the timing of that run is a little up in the air.  The rain wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for my proclivity for slipping.   But we desperately need rain, so no complaints here.   Even if it means I have to dodge rocks on the road while driving to work  🙂

Any one have big plans this weekend?

Any ideas on how I can learn to like coffee faster?