Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I try really hard to have one day a week that Sky and I get to stay home and just be.  We may stay in PJ's all day and skip brushing our hair, or we may go play at the park or get coffee and a scone.  Regardless of what we do it's always unplanned and usually ends up being my favorite day of the week.

Today I'm thankful for the little moments of heart melting joy that result from slowing down and being in the moment with my tater tot.


We laid on the bed and talked and cuddled for over an hour.  We talked about how much fun preschool is going to be, that she gets to fly on a plane in a few weeks, and we examined all the lovely colors and squares on the quilt.  

 You can see her head sticking out of the covers in the top right of the photo.

We played a bit too.  She loves hiding under the blankets and pretending she's asleep, then we rolled around a bit and wrestled and worked up an appetite for crackers and apples.  

 Blurry, but we were rolling around.

I know that in about 10 years (give or take 9 years) the last thing she'll want to do is lay in bed and talk about life with me, so I'll take every second of it I can get now!

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How was your Thursday?  

Tell me one thing  you're thankful for today!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CW-X Stabilyx Tights Review

I am so excited to share my review of the CW-X Tights I was given to test out!  I have been CW-X curious for a long time.  But, I've never pulled the trigger and tried them.  So, when the Fleet Feet Tacoma store manager offered me, on behalf of the CW-X rep, a free pair to try I was over the top excited! 

For the record the only commitment I made was to try them and report back to the store my thoughts.  The rep (don't even know their name) didn't even know I had a blog, there were zero requests that I post here or anywhere else about the tights.  I'm choosing to do so because I love them, and want people to know they are worth every single penny, more actually!  
  How cool are these?!  Love all the color!

I highly, highly, highly encourage you to check out the CW-X site as there is a ton of really great info regarding compression/conditioning wear in general, and CW-X specifically.  
I was given the CW-X 3/4 Length Stabilyx tights which retail at $90.00.  The technical info from the tag (booklet really): 

Featuring the latest new patented Support Web design, the Stabilyx Tight provides optimum Targeted Support to both the lower back/core area and the knee joint and surrounding muscles for greater overall stability and power.  

CW-X features two extraordinary fibers: Coolmax and Lycra.  Coolmax moves moisture instantaneously from the body to the fabric's outer surface where it evaporates at twice the speed of cotton.  Lycra possesses the unique ability to stretch yet retain its shape. 

The Support Web: 
-Acts as an exoskeleton to provide extra core support
-Stabilizes the knee joint
-Supports quadriceps muscles
-Improves movement efficiency and precision
-Engages hamstring and calf muscles
-Reduces muscle fatigue

 Yep, I wear them with my compression socks, laugh if you must.

First, keep in mind that anything over 8 miles is hard for me.  I run 3 times a week, and a 10 mile week is average.  Half training spikes that, but lets just say running is not kind to my body...I really have to work at it, and ice baths are a must for anything 8 to 10 or over, or I hurt and gimp around for a few days.
All those tracks between the color stripes is the most amazing support ever!

I did a 6, 12, 10, 8 and several 3 to 5 mile runs in these bad boys and have washed them a ton.  I also wore them after the Whidbey Island Half as a recovery tool since it's billed as in-run support, or recovery support.  I wanted to experience both so I could give a complete review!  I also refused to read anything about them before running in them so I cold be sure of forming my own opinion.  

 Ok, I did read the directions to put them on...holy compression...I realized I had no idea how to put my pants on without directions!

The first run I did was a 6 mile run and I was so pleased with how easy the normally really hard hill felt.  It's a loop I run regularly and dread one hill in specific.  But, this time it felt like the tights were doing the running for me and I floated up that hill! 
Rear view...it really does compress everything!

The real test came on the 12 and 10 mile runs and let me say that I was not disappointed.  Not a single ice bath was needed after my two longest runs, and that is amazing let me tell you.  Nothing hurt after those runs, legs, joints, knees, hips...everything felt really great.  My legs were tired after the longer runs, but not sore.  I was able to play with Sky and not gimp around like I have in the past.  It usually takes a few days to get back to normal, but these tights took it down to a few hours...specifically the hours I was running.  Once I peeled them off I showered, and was ready to be all-in mommy.  AMAZING!!!

I've always wondered if CW-X would help give support to my bad knee (dislocated it in HS and had surgery...bothers me on and off ever since) and make it feel stronger during long runs, and you know what my bad knee didn't hurt at all wearing the CW-X tights!  More importantly my knee felt protected.  

It really does feel like the tights are moving my legs for me.  They also have a higher waist line so it holds the core/tummy in nice and tight.  I really like that feature since I don't like feeling anything jiggle while running.  It's kind of like everything from my waist to knee's are being hugged and held firmly in place.

    Recovering after Whidbey Island.

I wanted to test them out as a recovery tool (I ran in a skirt for Whidbey...my usual race uniform) and changed into them after finishing the Whidbey Half.  My hips were jacked after that one due to the slanted roads.  I was so uncomfortable, but once I changed into the tights my hips stopped hurting, they liked the being hugged feeling!  I wore them for 4'ish hours, and while I think they helped I was still pretty sore after that race.  I think they work much better worn during a run rather than after.  

While I love these tights and am a totally believer/will spend every penny that comes my way on CW-X tights/shorts, there is one thing I don't love.  

The lack of a zipper pocket.  There is one small pocket on the inside of the front band, but it would maybe fit my key, and with the compression being so tight I don't want key imprint.  I get that a zipper pocket would maybe interfere with the compression ability, but it's a little frustrating to have to run with a belt (I love my belt, but hate wearing a belt period) just to accommodate my ID, Key and chap-stick.

But, even with the lack of a zipper pocket I'm a fan and convert.  I absolutely love everything about CW-X!  Can't wait to get a pair of full length tights (next winter maybe) so I have compression for my shins!   

A BIG thank you to CW-X for giving me a pair of really cool colorful tights to test out!  A BIG thank you as well to Angela at Fleet Feet for thinking of me as a test subject!  I feel spoiled and blessed all at the same time!  

P.S. - They wash and hang dry perfectly!  No funny smells or signs of wear or tear.  

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Anyone else out there a CW-X fan?  
 

 





 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Strong & Other Stuff

I can't post today and not at least mention the events that took place one year ago. 

Simply put my thoughts are with all those that were there (injured or not, present when the bombs went off or not...it's still a footnote to the marathon experience regardless of finishing/not finishing etc), with all those (runners, volunteers, spectators, anyone in Boston that day) that are recovering from physical/mental/emotional injuries, and with the families that lost loved ones. 

It's what I'll be thinking about during my run this evening.

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Just a note - I changes the name of my Instagram account so that it ties in with the blog, and takes my personal name off the account.  The old link won't work, but all the old pictures are there since it's the same account, just with a new name.  You can follow brokentequila (me!) on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/brokentequila the link is also to the Right.

I have been reading so many blogger safety posts lately and #1 tip is that all the social media accounts tied to the blog should be the blog name, not your personal name, so I decided to make the change.

P.S. - No I have not had any issues/scares...just following sound advice.

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Over the weekend Michelle and I had the pleasure of staying at the Fort Casey Inn on Whidbey Island.  Originally built as officer housing prior to the Civil War (according to the plaque in our cabin) or the First World War (according to the website), so I don't know which it is, but leaning towards the Civil War based on the decor etc.  Regardless is was the most cost effective lodging we could find on the Island that was close to the start/finish line. 

I had no idea what we were in store for since the confirmation email made it clear it was pretty basic with power, but no other outside contact (TV, Radio, WiFi).  Sounded great to me because I love nothing more than a good book for hours on end, but turns out they have upgraded a bit and there was WiFi, and the alarm clocks in the rooms had AM/FM. 

It was all pretty basic, but fully functioning with electric heat, microwave in the kitchen along with all the other "normal" kitchen stuff.  And the view was amazing! 

The sunrise from Michelle's room.  Photo Credit - Michelle

 The main room...we ended up doing a puzzle on the floor with the fire going.  Photo Credit - Michelle

 My room...the bed's were really firm!

 Love the claw-foot bathtub...we didn't use it, but it was still a cool feature. 

Michelle's Room.

Aside from the firm beds and really old plumbing (lets be honest it could hardly handle two runners pre-race) it was a charming and very quiet place to stay.  It would actually be fun to go back with the families and make use of the hiking trails, and bring our discovery passes along so we can explore the parks near the Inn.  I would totally stay there again!  

A few more non-race pics from the weekend...

 I thought it was funny my GPS had the car driving on the water.

 Liquid carb loading at lunch the day before.  First time I have every had a drink (had a glass of wine with dinner later that night as well, along with lot's of water all day long) the day before a race, and you know what I couldn't tell a difference.

 We visited the start line the day before to scope out parking and make sure we knew where to go.   Nice little beach next to the festivities.

 This was a random little park we found and it ended up being a nice little spot to spread a blanket and read for a while before heading off to dinner.  Very relaxing! 

 Enjoying the sun, breeze and views!  Photo Credit - Michelle
I have to say I feel pretty great today!  I usually don't run with the group Tuesday Night after running a half, but I am tonight, because I feel that good, and like I'm ready to run again.  If this is what 39 feels like then I'm going to have a very good year!  ;-)

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Anyone else drink beer, wine, other alcohol before a race?  

I usually don't drink any alcohol 5 to 7 days leading up to a race, but I didn't do that this time around.  I had wine with dinners during the week and the beer and wine the day before.  But, I also made an effort to drink a ton of water too.  I felt the best I ever have for a race this time around, so who knows if drinking or not makes a huge difference.  There are a lot of other factors that go into how you feel race day.   

 




Monday, April 14, 2014

Whidbey Island Half Re-Cap

Let's get the details out of the way...we did it!  Finished in 2:23:xx which was faster than I anticipated.  Not the fastest Half Michelle and I have run together, but not the slowest either. 

Pre-Race...killing time before the start.  Half Fanatics in the house!!!!!  (runners have the best legs...yep just gave myself and Michelle props)!

Michelle got it together for this race with only 3 weeks notice, and very little mileage on her legs.  I know miles 10 - 13.34 (it's a long course!) were challenging, but she stuck with it and got it done.  I tell you those last miles were the hardest as far as the course goes.  Hills, out and back, running past the finish line and hearing finishers being announced as you run past...yep it was hard, really hard. 

While I had the advantage of 10 weeks of training, and felt pretty great physically (mentally was not loving running past the finish for an out and back)...I knew it was getting harder and harder for Michelle, but she hung in there and got it done.  I'm so proud of her, total gut check time and she did it!  I don't say (type) that with surprise at all...I knew she could do it, but I knew it would be hard so I'm extra, extra proud of her!  

I almost don't even know how to review this one because it was such a great experience.  Fair warning this Half, with perfect weather (and maybe even without perfect weather), is going to make you want to run a full.  Just be ready to come home and register for a full marathon after this!  (And, no I did not register for a full, nor do I plan on doing so...that hasn't changed for me).

The Pros:
-The Weather - So I know this was totally a chance thing, the organizers have zero control over the weather.  I suspect that had this been a windy/rainy day it would have been much less pleasant and a very, very different experience for us.  It was sunny, but no too hot.  I actually had a long sleeve shirt on before the start to keep warm, but ditched it right before we crossed the timing mat.  Michelle didn't, and while she had goose bumps she wasn't too cold as long as we stayed in the sun.  There were a few times it felt like the sun was beating down on us due to the lack of shade, but just as it would start to border on too much we would hit a wooded section and have shade to cool things off. 

-Bathrooms - There were the park bathrooms as well as plenty of port o potties.  We waited in lines of 3 to 4 people tops which is pretty good in my book!

-Aid Stations - Perfectly spaced!  Not only did they start early (mile 2...the advantage of there being a 5K and 10K) they were spaced about every 3 miles after that.  The two stations that offered GU were perfectly spaced, and the last aid station that offered GU was the out and back section, so you hit it going and coming back which was really nice. 

-Packet Pick-Up/Expo - Very well organized.  Big enough to be interesting, but not so large that it was overwhelming (that's what she said...bahahaha...sorry Mark has totally warped my sense of humor!).  We were in and out super easy.  Didn't even have to wait in line to get our packets/shirts.  

-Communication - It was amazing.  There were several (but not too many) emails the weeks leading up to the race, with all the information/details I wanted, needed, and felt anxious about.  This was easily the calmest I felt going into a race because everything was spelled out clearly.  Being an out of towner, since it's an island I'm guessing most of the runners are out of town, the organizers addressed all the unknowns for those that were traveling, and that really helped me feel like we were in good hands.  

 Running this stretch I totally mentally checked out.  It was long and straight (the kind of running I don't like at all) but the view totally sucked me in and made it fly by.

-Route- Well what can I say about this.  It was amazing!  From the vibrant green farm lands/fields to the ocean views, and the mountain peaks it was simple breathtaking.  The views made up for the complaints I have.   More importantly the views made it seem almost easy.  I enjoyed (almost) every step because it was so beautiful. 

 The above view is what is behind us in the below in-race selfie.   Selfie Photo Credit - Michelle!

About half way give or take a mile or two...I forget exactly.

-Shirts/Medals/Goodie Bag - So I don't have a pic of the tech shirt, but it's bad a$$!  I love the shirt, but sadly it looks horrific on me, so I gave mine to Michelle.  Why don't they ever run true to size (or look good on girls with bigger chests?)  Anyway, the medals are awesome (too lazy to take a close up) totally fitting it had a Bald Eagle on it since we saw them every time we looked up!  I love that the goodie bags had full size product in them, very well done!

Cons:
-The Roads - They were totally slanted.  Every single one of them were very slanted and it was really hard to find anything somewhat flat to run on.  The first 10 miles were slanted (for the most part) to the left and let me tell you my knee and hip were feeling it.  We both kept swerving around trying to find anything flatish to run on.  There was one trail through a park that was flat and a gravel path that was flat, but that maybe made 1 mile total of flat running. The last 3+ miles were slanted to the right, which was a bit of relief but by that point still not helpful. 

-It's over 13.1 - In fact the website says it's 13.34, but if you run a perfect tangent it's 13.1.  Umm...the only runners that have a chance of running a perfect tangent are the leaders.  The rest of us are left running what is a very long Half!  

-The Last 3 miles - They are already the hardest part of a Half right?  So why, why, why make us run past the finish line, hearing all the celebration etc to head out on an absolutely miserable out and back?  It's the hilliest part of the course and just felt like it took forever.  It's a mental game at that point...every step out you know you have to repeat...but adding in the hills was just rough.  (Overall still one of the "easiest" courses I've run though...so it's all relative).  

 Still amazing views the last 3 miles!

-Food Tent - Seriously the line to get in to the food tent was stupid long.  So long in fact that even though I needed food we skipped it and opted to get on the ferry and eat on the mainland.  There has to be a better way to handle that aspect.

-Full Marathon Leaders - This is more a complaint on their behalf because it didn't have a negative impact on me at all.  But, I will say at the point (based on when they start and when the Half starts and average pace of winners etc) that the leaders catch us is tight.  I know the organizers have no control over what pace anyone runs, but there are some serious pinch points, and some stretches of what should be single track (just like girls who can't pee alone some can't run alone either...for the record Michelle and I run single file when we need to/when the course calls for it), the leaders were struggling to weave in and out (the motorcycle leading the full should have been in front of the leader honking, not behind him!) and barking at runners, most of who have both earphones in, that they were trying to pass.  The leaders caught us at their mile 23, so I'm guessing having to yell at people to move over was energy they would rather have not had to exert.  The only upside is it was really inspiring/exciting to see them fly by, those guys were hauling some serious a$$!

We did it!

All in all I would highly, highly recommend this race!  If you ever have a chance to run Whidbey Island Half do it (can't speak to the full, but have heard it's bad a$$ in a good way as well)!  I would/will totally do it again!  Despite the few cons it's still a very unique experience that is totally worth it, and one of the most enjoyable courses to run (even though it's long)!    

Nicely done Whidbey Island! 

I'll share more in the next day or two about lodging/experience on the island and how I felt/am feeling post race.  For now this post is long enough and I'm still pretty worn out despite 10 hours of sleep last night.  

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Who else had a race/run this weekend?  Tel me about it! 

 

 


 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ready to Run!

I finally feel ready for Sunday's race.  I'm packed, my throat is still sore but not getting worse, and my shoulder and hip are pain free!  Woo Hoo!  

A big Thank You to my Dad for driving 4'ish hours to work on my shoulder and hip and then turning around and driving 4'ish hours back home. 

He did get a little play time in with Sky before making the drive back home.

So I'm doing a few things different this race...I'm running naked and I'm taking pictures!  By naked I mean no GPS watch.  Totally going to run based on feel and how many irresistible photo ops there are along the way.  

It's all part of the plan to run for fun, enjoy the weather and the island, and make sure Michelle has fun as well.  She's coming into this with 3 weeks of prep and a bit of a sore back, so I'm ditching the watch (and in turn the obsession with pace/numbers) and plan to kill my phone battery taking pics!  I know that "real" runners look down on the photo taking runners, but I don't give a crap what anyone thinks.  We will make sure to step out of the way so we don't slow anyone down or trip anyone.   

I'm really looking forward to running in a new area and this is our first as Half Fanatics!  It's going to be fun, and a great way to kick off the summer run schedule!

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Anyone else run/race naked?
No, I don't remember the last time I did that.  I have mixed feeling about it which is probably why I should do it more.   It's not always about the numbers.

In race photo taking yes or no?
I don't care one way or the other.  This is the first race I've gone into with the intent to take pics.  Usually I have a goal of some sort that does not lend itself to photos.  I'm kinda looking forward to it though! 



 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday!

Oh my goodness what a busy couple of days!  Yesterday got turned upside down with Sky being sick.  She has a raging little cold going on.  Better today than yesterday, but still she is not comfortable at all. 

Which means tons and tons of cuddling, and no visit with the grandparents yesterday.  Thankfully I didn't have anything scheduled for the afternoon so we did nothing but this...

Cuddling in the rocking chair (btw that chair is from my sister and I being babies, we just brought it in from storage in the garage).  

I was once again so very thankful for the jogging stroller!  Since it can be fully enclosed when needed I just stick her in it with some of her favorite things and close it up so no one is exposed to her germs, and she is cozy and happy.  And, that allowed me to get my last run in before race day!  

Sadly I think Sky shared her cold with me, so nice of her.  It's ok...I'm going to run, have fun, and finish no matter what.  Gargling salt water, and drinking tons of water with oranges squeezed into it in the hopes my sore throat will die down by Sunday.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

A few things I'm thankful for: 

-That Sky took a nap yesterday afternoon.  I was a little surprised since her nose is so plugged she can't breath and therefor doesn't really want to lay down.  But, it allowed me to deal with an ingrown toenail...didn't really want to run 13.1 with that...and it feels so much better today!  It gave me time to do my nails too...

 I love this fun design! 

-That even though she's sick we made it through grocery shopping with zero issues, and was very chipper through an oil change and car wash.  

Those glasses are too much, and she is too cute!  She kept waiving a the oil change guys.

-This may seem like a strange thing to be thankful for...
...but we needed that rock to finish Bishop's new kennel area.  And, thanks to Bob, Josh and Rick for coming over and helping Mark transport it to the kennel and spread it out, because that means Bishop comes home tomorrow!!!!  Sky is going to be so excited!  

-Dad is making a day trip tomorrow, across the state, so he can work on the shoulder and hip that have been hurting.  I can keep it in check on my own, but he can fix it for good.  So looking forward to being pain free at the start line! 

-That even when she's sick she is still so full of fun and life and smiles.  

 Her new perch for watching movies.

-Sun, very thankful for the lovely sunny days we are having.  And, that it's supposed to last through Sunday.  Warm, but not too warm = perfect!  

-That tomorrow is Taco night!  
What are you thankful for?