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Feb 28, 2014

Running and Yoga

Several of you have asked me what I use/do when I do Yoga.  Believe it or not, I have not gone to a yoga class(although I would).  I use an app on my iPad called Simply Yoga.  There is a free version and a paid version.
While I upgraded to the paid version, you might want to give it a try first on the free version.  The free version is pretty good and has one routine for you to try with a couple different times 20,40,60 minutes with two levels of difficulty.

The paid version has the option to customize your yoga workout and put in moves that you want to do.  This is what I like about it and it's worth the small price to do that.  The other nice thing, especially for beginners, is that you can see what they do and they also describe how to do each move and exactly when to breath through it.
Sun Salutation is a staple move in yoga
A couple poses that I particularly like that will help keep you loose for running are the Easy Seated Pose.  This pose opens up the hips and you can really feel the stretch.  A great one for anyone having soreness in your hips.  Sometimes I will hold this pose longer than they show on the app.

I also enjoy the Crescent Moon Post which also stretches the hips down to the knee.

The last post I end with is the Corpse pose.  This is so relaxing that sometimes I almost fall asleep again when doing it. Ha!

The paid version has many other poses to choose from and you can try them out and find out what's best for you.  I only do two 20 minute sessions of yoga and only 2-4 times a week(usually 2) and it's all I need to keep my body feeling good.  While you can do the yoga any time of the day, I particularly like doing this just after I finish my run.


Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Feb 27, 2014

This and that.....

So you may have noticed that I've not been blogging EVERY day but still rather frequently.   I've got some product reviews coming up that I'll share with you in the next few weeks but I've not felt the need to blog about running just to do a daily blog post.
Oh sure I have some ideas for some new posts and some I think you will really like, but they take time to write and if I can't write it properly, I'd rather not post it just yet.  I used to post about my training on a daily basis but it's just not that exciting.  Yeah, I ran three miles what.  Someone else ran 10 miles.  I even saw someone that ran 37 miles for their 37th birthday.  Lol.  See, it's just not that big of deal.
Yeah, Michigan.....
I will say I'm so over Winter.  This Michigan Winter has been the worst I've seen it since I've been running - really, worst since I've been alive!  I do take pride in the fact that I'm still running outdoors.  Why?  I'm not really sure because I just do it because I hate the treadmill so much and I'm just used to being outdoors regardless of the weather.  It doesn't mean I enjoy this crazy cold. It's just how I roll.

It's also been crazy busy at work and when that happens, it takes my mind off the blog.  As much as I'd like it to be more, this is a hobby and reality comes first.  Bummer I know.  I do what I can to keep blogging about things I hope you all enjoy plus I always feel like a different person when I'm in "Detroit Runner" mode.

Speaking of that, I feel like I'm having race withdrawals.  It's been almost three weeks since my last race and my next one, the Kona St. Patrick's Day Dublin Double is not for over two more weeks! Can you really have withdrawals with that short of period?  Lol.  Oh, I'm running.  In fact, I'm running quite a bit(I think) but it's all training miles.  I'm in a cut back week now and will still end with 27 miles, and from then on out, I'll be over 30 miles a week through August at least.

So bear with me.   I'll have some good stuff coming in the next month and hopeful something really exciting to announce that I've been trying to come to terms with.  Well, exciting to me at least.  Stay tuned!

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Feb 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 2/26/14

My first Kona finish ever almost 5 years ago - use code sh651274 and receive $3 off the Kona St. Patrick's Day Run through March 1.  You can register HERE.
Have a great day and....Keep running!!!!

Feb 25, 2014

Kona St. Patrick's Day Run $3 discount

It's no secret I love running Kona Running Company races.  They are fantastic!  Kona wants more runners so they are offering a $3 discount code good through March 1 for their Kona St. Patrick's Day Run on March 16th.  If you have not signed up yet, this is your perfect opportunity to do it now.  Read about it HERE to see all the awesome bling you get.

Go to KonaStPatricksDayRun and use the discount code -- sh651274 -- and you will get a $3 savings.

Thanks to Kona Running Company for offering this.  I hope to see you there.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Feb 24, 2014

Bayshore Marathon Training week 5 summary

Hoping for a start just like this in May(This is the 2013 start of the Bayshore Marathon)
Another eventful week.  The weather was a challenge again but ended up being fairly nice by the end of the week.  Here's how I ended for the week:
Click to enlarge
Monday - 6 miles - Had the day off for President's Day so Kevin and I ran a loop at Stony Creek.  It was -13 regular temperature.  Probably the coldest run I've ever run at Stony Creek.  Ridiculous!  I didn't even warm up for four miles!  I also passed the 120km mark for the Strava February mileage challenge.  Since I had time I also added Weights and Yoga after the run.

Tuesday - 3 miles - It was a dark, snowy morning but I got a chance to try out my new Trail shoes, the Pearl Izumi N2's.  Still hard to tell if I'm going to like them for the marathon since I need a longer run in them but it was a good test.  I also added post run Yoga today.
Pearl Izumi Trail N2
Wednesday - 6.2 miles - A warmer day which was a treat.  I only needed one layer and a thin jacket today.  Yeah I wish this would stick around but that's not happening.

Thursday - 3 miles - A little cooler out but the winds were calm.  Roads were a little icy but it was only a short one.  Getting back to wearing the Kinvara's too.  After run weights too.

Friday - Yoga only, no running.

Saturday - 13.1 miles - While I only had 12 on the schedule, I ran this because of the February half marathon challenge on Strava.  It was not that cold out but it was really windy and made for a challenging run.  Had a couple running buddies to help pass the time too.

Sunday - Yoga only, no running.

Total miles for week #5:  31.6 miles

Looks like Michigan is going to be back into the Polar Vortex again this coming week and it's a step back week so a little less mileage.  Yeah, I'm really looking forward to that..........not!

Hope your training went well too!

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Feb 22, 2014

Headsweats season - every season!!!

One of the great things of the Headsweats ambassador program is I get the benefit of picking out three hats for use during my training.  I'll do detailed reviews on each of these once I use them but just wanted to share what I chose.

I chose a Go Hat with my Alma Mater on it - Central Michigan University.  I already have this type of hat and these are awesome for training in warm weather and running races.  I'll probably save this one primarily for races.

The second hat I chose was the Classic in Red.  This is like a Du-rag for running.  You can tie the back of the hat and fit it just like you you want it.  It's also got a built in sweatband too.  I actually use this and the shorty, which I have a couple of already, for training in the mornings.  These are awesome to use during a dark morning run since you don't need a bill on the hat and it also makes it easier to see the light from your headlamp too.

The third hat I chose was the Summit beanie.  It's a bit thicker around your ears to keep them warm and then it's very thin on the top.  I originally thought this was for training in Winter.  While you could use it part of the Winter, if it's pretty cold out, less than 30, I would recommend one of their other hats including the Thermal Reversible Beanie or the Alpine Reversible Beanie which have much more material to protect you from the elements.  I think the name Summit got me thinking that it would be good for up in the mountains but it's better for temps from 30-40 in my opinion.

So that's the new hats I have for this coming season to train.  I also just purchased an Alpine Reversible Beanie and a St. Patrick's Day Themed Thermal Reversible Beanie to get me through the rest of winter.  For those of you not in Michigan, it's been crazy cold and snowy here this Winter!
All these, along with my current Headsweats hats below, should cover me for anything weather throws at me this year.  As most of you know, I'm an outdoor runner and I can attest that I've run in 90 degrees with some of these hats and -35 windchill and they provide any runner what is needed for any weather.
Starting from the blue ha in clockwise order - Thermal Reversible Beanie, Toaster Beanie, Shorty black, Shorty white, Go hat with 26.2(which I save for races mostly), Airlite hat, and the Fleece Race hat.
Also, don't forget that you too can benefit from me being an ambassador - save 25% on all of their hats at regular price with the code detroit25.  In addition, Headsweats offers $5 flat shipping now so you can get a really great deal on their hats.  They are super easy to clean - just throw it in the washing machine and set it out to dry.  I've washed the two shorty beanies above at least 100 times each and they still look brand new!

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Note:  I received the three hats as part of the ambassador program.  All opinions are my own and I'm not required to provide anything other than an honest opinion.

Feb 20, 2014

Gone for a Run Sweatshirt and Mug review

A couple weeks ago, I received a new product from Gone for a Run for review.  This time, I chose a sweatshirt and a mug with my home State of Michigan on it!  Here's what I received:
Of course, everything you buy for running can't be JUST for running.  Well, I guess it can but why would you want it to be.  As I am sure many who read my blog are similar to me, I think about running a lot and why not show that you are a runner for your everyday life too.  Us runners like to brag talk about running.

The sweat shirt is a hooded sweatshirt that is 50/50 cotton/polyester and made by Gildan.  The lettering and State on it is quite thin.  I like it like that because I don't like when it's really thick and just make the shirt/sweatshirt uncomfortable.  You can barely notice it's on there.  It's also a very comfortable sweatshirt.  Since I'm from Michigan, I wanted Michigan Runner but you can pick the State you are from/live it as well.

The quality of the sweatshirt is nice.  I've already washed it several times and it keeps it's size which by the way fits true to size.  I received a medium and it's a perfect fit.

The other really cool thing about it is that you have the option to add wording onto the back of the sweatshirt.  In this case, I had them add Detroit Runner on the back.  I love it and it's something I proud to wear.  It's also a great item to have for after a race to keep you warm during cooler races.
Sweatshirt front with pocket and hood
Sweatshirt custom back - awesome!
Gone for a Run also sent a Michigan Runner Mug.  Actually I didn't even ask for it but they sent one with the sweatshirt!  It's funny because I always try to purchase a mug when I go to races that sell them so this fits in well with my personality.  It's really nice to have a mug to use daily for my coffee.
Nice Michigan Runner mug
What better way to spend a nice morning after a run relaxing in your running sweatshirt and drinking a nice cup of coffee.  It's the way I typically spend my Sunday mornings and having these two items makes it nice nice and comfy.  Once again, you can also get a mug with your State on it too.
Enjoying my coffee and reading running books
Interested in learning more or buying one for yourself?

Go to Gone for a Run website, HERE and HERE.

"Like" Gone for a Run Facebook page, HERE.

"Follow" Gone for a Run Twitter page, HERE.
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Note:  As a Gone for the Run ambassador, I receive complimentary merchandise from their oneline store periodically.  All opinions are my own and I am not required to write anything other than an honest opinion of the products.

Feb 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 2/19/14

Stony Creek Metropark near the Nature Center on Monday
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Feb 18, 2014

Bayshore Marathon training week 4 summary

Near the finish of the Bayshore Marathon 2011
Here's a recap of my training last week:
Click to enlarge

What you can't see in there is the conditions.  This week was another cold, dreary week of running.  Well, except for my long run on Saturday, that was just cold.  Haha!  It was actually nice to see the sun come out during our long run.  I wish I had brought my camera because the sun made the snow sparkle.

Mid week was not your average cold and I ran in sub zero temperatures again this week.  Wednesday was especially cold!  I was really hoping to get out on the trails soon but with the way the weather has been, it appears that might be more difficult than I think.  Since I'm also training for North Country Full in addition to Bayshore, I really want to hit those trails.  I even purchased a couple pairs of new trail shoes.

I've still been able to keep up with my weights and yoga routines and they have continued to help me keep fit and get some cross training in.  As soon as the weather breaks, I'll also add in some biking too.  I will say that I do feel less pressure this marathon training cycle.  I have no goal but to finish and feel good - well, as good as you can feel - after the marathon.

Hope you also had a great week of training.  Four down, 14 weeks to go!

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Feb 17, 2014

Happy President's Day

Thanks Mr. President for the day off!
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Feb 15, 2014

Kona St. Patricks Day Run in one month!!!!

As many of you are aware, the first Kona Run as part of their Grand Slam series is coming up in four weeks!  I frankly cannot believe we are almost here.  I always feel like the Kona St. Patrick's Day Run is the start of the racing season.  Yes, I know there are races all year, and this will be my fourth race in 2014, but it just feels like racing season starts in March.

The first of the four run series will again be held in downtown Plymouth for it's third year.  This year Kona Running company has once again outdone themselves in regards to the bling for this year.  So let's get right to the bling and then I'll give you some details of the race.

The first 4,000 registered(which I happen to be one of them) will receive a Kona Running Company beanie:
Winter Beanie!  Woohoo!
Of course, if you register for any of their races including the Dublin Double, 10k, 5k or one mile run, you will get one of their tech shirts:
Everyone gets a shirt!

Now if that is not enough bling for you, then sign up for the 10k race because all finishers(limited to 2,300) get this sweet medal:
10k Finisher medal
But wait.......there's more(I've always wanted to say that!  Haha!).  New this year, Kona is offering the Dublin Double.  What's that you say?  Run the 10k THEN run the 5k.  Do that and you also get another medal for doing the Dublin Double(limited to 500):
Dublin Double
I'll be running the Dublin Double and it will be my first double race ever.  I can't wait to see how I do for it.  How's that for some sweet bling?  Now, if you are also running this race to get your Grand Slam medal, once you have completed all four races, in November, after completing the Kona Chocolate Run, you'll get this too.  Woohoo!!!
Grand Slam!
As I've always said, if Kona knows how to do things, they know how to bring bling for the runners.  Haha!  This year, they are also offering double runs at their Wicked Halloween Run and Kona Chocolate Run as well.  Think about it - if you run all their races(including the doubles) this year and including the Novi Half Marathon, you will earn nine medals - that's crazy!

As for the details of the Kona St. Patrick's day run, there are several other new things this year including shuttle buses to downtown Plymouth so you will have free parking.  If you decide to park downtown in one of Plymouth's lot, please be sure to bring some money because the City is going to charge $5($2.50 to the City and $2.50 to Charity).

Also new this year is three waves starting at 7:30am for the 10k and 9am for the 5k.  I think that's a great idea.  Not only will this reduce the congestion at the start of each race, it will also allow more runners to take on the Dublin Double and not have to worry about finishing the 10k in time to start the 5k.  If you run the 10k, you need to be able to keep a 16 minute pace.  And no worries for the Port-o-potties, as the race will have enough at the start/finish.  They also have made an effort to improve the finish line area so that it runs even smoother.

All these new things are in place to make the race even more enjoyable and many were suggestions from runners who have run the race.  Kona certainly listens to it's customers and keeps improving each year.

Of course, many of the same great things will be back again.   Take a look:

In addition, the certified courses(10k and 5k) will again be back as well as the 1 mile(not certified).  Now I know that many of you don't like the fact that it's the same course for the Plymouth races but use it as a challenge.  Run your races this year and see how you improve or see what the weather brings and makes for different challenges.  Hopefully you can improve your race time with each race.
10K Certification
5k certification
As with all their races, there will be early packet pickup.  I strongly suggest that you come the day before to their mini expo and get your packet.  There is nothing worse than stressing over having to get your packet race morning especially if you take the free shuttle.  Plus, you get to see me!  I'll be volunteering again at packet pickup which is always a great time.  Make sure you say hello if you see me!

As far as weather?  Well, who knows given this year's Winter weather but either way, Kona provides warming tents so you can keep warm before/after the races.  Last year was really cold and the first year was really warm.  Check out the pictures to see how I'm dressed so differently!  Shorts one year and Winter jacket the next.  We are due for some warm weather, right?
It's crazy how different the temperatures were - what will 2014 bring? Either way, I'll be there!
Not signed up yet or need more information?

Go to the Kona St. Patrick's Day Run website

Go to the Kona St. Patrick's Day Facebook page

I hope to see you there!

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Note:  In exchange for this blog post, I receive a complimentary entry into the race.  I am not compensated and all opinions on here are my own and I'm not required to provide a particular opinion our the races.