Category Archives: Giveaway

Week in Review 12.12.16 to 12.18.16

I am beyond happy that I got as much physical activity in as I did this week given my travel schedule!

Monday: 10 miles on the treadmill before my interview. Horribly boring but happy to get the run in.

Tuesday: 3.75 mile run on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Salt Lake City. Absolutely incredible views but the trail was a wee bit muddy.

Wednesday: 7 mile run up City Creek Canyon. So happy to find that the altitude wasn’t bothering me at all, maybe an effect of how dry it is out there?

Such a fun run; up, up, up and just gradual enough that you could run smoothly.

Thursday: Planned off day. Prorated at 4.3 miles.

Friday: 4 miles easy on the treadmill in Cleveland plus arms.

Saturday: Winter hike up Mount Philo with Will.

He is incapable of taking a normal photo.

Sunday: 9 mile long run on the treadmill before leaving for Providence.

Total Miles: 33.8 Miles

There were plenty of opportunities to miss a run this week with travel delays and the general chaos that surrounds interview season but I was so psyched to be able to get in decent runs and even a couple of workouts. My favorite run of the week was definitely the climb up City Creek Canyon in Salt Lake. It was the perfect grinder of a hill workout: steep enough to be hard but completely runnable. I could see many endurance workouts happening on that hill!

Adaptation week is over now; up to 50 miles for this coming week as I start to get back into the swing of things for New Bedford and Spring 2017.

Last call for the Giveaway of The Endurance Diet!!

Week in Review 12.5.16 to 12.11.16

Huge travel week for me! Burlington to Charleston to West Virginia to Minneapolis and only one missed flight and one delay.

Monday: 7 miles on the treadmill with 4 by 5 minutes at tempo pace.

Tuesday: 4.5 easy miles with Will.

Wednesday: 5.5 miles in Charleston with striders after.

Thursday: 8 miles on West Ashely Greenway with 1 minute on, 1 minute off.

Friday: 4.25 run on Deckers Creek Trail.

Saturday: 6 mile trail run at Coopers Rock (yes, there’s no apostrophe). Amazing and just what I needed.

Sunday: 7 mile progression run on the treadmill in Minneapolis courtesy of the snowstorm. Arms after.

Total Miles: 42

Bummed to miss my long run today; I was looking forward to exploring Minneapolis’ many bike paths but a snow storm had better ideas. I’ll get 90 less exciting minutes on the treadmlll in tomorrow morning before my interview. On Tuesday, I’m off to Utah and extremely psyched to explore the trails out there, although a bit anxious about the elevation.

I did finally pick a “focus” event for the spring; the New Bedford Half Marathon. Because of the way that event falls, this coming week will actually be an adaptation week before going back to gradually increasing mileage in three week chunks. It’s amazing the difference a focus event makes in terms of my willingness to get out and do workouts or runs. I’m also a bit amazed how much more eager I am to run everywhere but Burlington. I’m sure every city gets boring after a while but after almost 6 years in Burlington, I’m ready to get bored of a new place running wise!

Finally, don’t forget that I have a book giveaway going on for Matt Fitzgerald’s upcoming book The Endurance Diet. Although I’ve been in the negative a lot lately with travel, I’m loving the approach and looking forward to using it as my schedule normalizes again as well.

Book Review: The Endurance Diet AND Giveaway

One benefiit of “frequent” airline travel is that I’ve had the opportunity to read more books in the past few weeks than I’ve read in all of medical school. A few weeks ago, a publisher reached out to me to see if I was interested in reading an advanced copy of Matt Fitzgerald’s new book The Endurance Diet. As I talked about in my post on nutrition recently, I’ve been looking for ways to improve my diet even with my hectic schedule so I said I would be happy to.

In full disclosure, I was skeptical before I started reading. I vehemently disagreed with Fitzgerald’s prior book on nutrition (Racing Weight) where he advocated that runners all have an optimum racing weight and provided a calculation that for most regular people, would leave them hungry and thin. I’m glad I gave him another chance, however, because he hits it out of the park with The Endurance Diet.

Based on interviews with elite endurance athletes across the world, Fitzgerald essentially reviewed their diet logs during training and looked for trends in general approach to diet and the balance of macronutrients (fats, carbs and proteins are your macros). His initial hypothesis was that there would be differences depending on sport and region of the world but what he found was that there was extraordinary similarity between all top level endurance athletes AND that when an athlete had experienced a performance breakthrough, a shift in diet towards the endurance diet had preceeded the change.

From this, Fitzgerald deduces five key habits:

  1. Eat everything.
  2. Eat quality
  3. Eat carb-centered
  4. Eat enough
  5. Eat individually

None of this is revolutionary, of course, but Fitzgerald takes it a step farther with his Diet Quality Score and associated app (available on iPhone and Android). Basically, you get positive points for quality foods and negative points for less quality foods. Your goal is to get to +20 quality points a day. The catch? All foods can be both, so for example, your first glass of wine for the day is a +1 because of the known benefits of wine  and beer for health. The second (and third and fourth) areall -1. Similarly, the first few servings of fruits and veggies are +2 but after a few, they become zeroes and then negative. The whole idea is to eat a range of healthy foods in moderation. What a concept!

My own performance has been mixed. My first day was a +4, in part because I had just gotten home from a trip and we didn’t have much in the way of food. I had a granola bar for breakfast (-1 for refined grains, -2 for sweets because of its sugar content). The next day, however, I had 19 points after a grocery store run and a big, green salad and fresh fruit. Days when I’m home, my quality score is near 20. When I’m traveling or on an interview day, I’m lucky to break 5. What this has led me to conclude is that I need to have two goals; 20 for normal days and 10 for interview days since I don’t have control over what is served. Example of how my behavior has started to shift? I’m sitting in the airport writing this and instead of getting a dressing soaked salad, I had raw veggies, an apple, two hard boiled eggs and almonds (+8 if you were curious…) Although I don’t know what I’ll have for dinner tonight, I am confident I can find a cup of green tea, a glass of wine and another piece of fruit during my journeys.

The only major drawback that I can see is that Fitzgerald isn’t prescriptive about serving sizes and even says that his are variable; for example, when he makes a sandwich, he counts the two slices of bread as one serving of whole grain because who makes a sandwich with one slice of bread…Although this flexibility and individuality are nice, it could set some people up to be too permissive with serving sizes and be counterproductive.

All in all, I highly recommend all endurance athletes of all levels give this book some attention. It is a reasonable, accessibly approach to nutrition which is something most of us real people could sorely use.

I do have a copy of Fitzgerald’s book to giveaway to one entrant.** There are four ways to enter and you can do one or all of them to up your chances!

a) Comment on this blog post: What diet approaches have you used in your running in the past?

b) Follow me on Instagram (@runswatrun) between now and December 20th and shoot me a message on that platform to let me know you’re entering.

c) Follow me on Twitter (@runswatrun) between now and December 20th and send me a DM letting me know you’re entering.

d) Share this post on your own social media accounts and tag me as you do!

**The book is released on December 27th, 2016 so I will get the copy to the winner after the first of the year.

 

Week in Review 5.30.16 to 6.5.16

Monday: 11.5 miles on the bike path with Will.

Tuesday: Easy run plus 4 laps of striders on the track.

Wednesday: 7 mile interval workout. Warmup, drills, 4 laps of ins and outs plus 6 by .25 miles on the bike path. Effort was definitely there, pace was a little off because of the terrain.

Thursday: 4 miles in the early morning. Exhausted!

Friday: 10 mile long run on the Causeway. Nice to get my run done before the weekend.

Saturday: 6.8 mile tempo workout with 3 miles continuous tempo via heartrate. (6:31, 6:39, 6:36). Legs after. Felt good.

Sunday: 5.5 mile recovery run with 4 laps of striders on the track. Arms afterward.

Total Miles: 50.3

Total May Miles: 220

The Good: I got up and got my runs in early this week which made it a much less stressful week from a running perspective. I continue to do a good job getting striders in and feel like my efficiency is really improving. Although my mileage is the same as it has been, it was really an adaptation week because my day to day volume was lower besides the Monday long run.

The Ugly: Still struggling to get my strength work in. Got two workouts in this week plus bedtime abs, so hoping to add another leg workout to next week.

In case you missed it, I have a giveaway going on right now. Three lucky people will win a MedZone gift pack that includes all sorts of products to help you run through the summer without misery. There are three ways to enter* between now and next Sunday at 5 pm:

  1. Leave a comment about your worst chafing experience and picture of the carnage if you’re really brave.
  2. Post a picture of a chafing nightmare on Instagram and tag me (@runswatrun) and @goMedZone
  3. Share this post on your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (maximum of 1 entry for this option) and tag me and @goMedZone or send me a screenshot of your Facebook post.

*Maximum of three entries per person.

Product Review and Giveaway: Chafe Zone and Blister Zone Skin Protectant

These products were provided to me for no cost from the MedZone company. The opinions below are my own. 

It’s chafing season. I’ve run through many summers and am no stranger to those days when you forget to do chafing prevention and then pay for it within a couple miles. Just last weekend, I wore a tank top for the first time this season and completely forgot that the neckline rips my skin up. As a result, I’ve had to avoid v-neck shirts all week to hide my battle scars.

When Joe from MedZone reached out to me in April about their line of products, my question was a classic one that gets asked in lots of pharmacology trials: what’s the difference between this product and a well-established product (in this case, Body Glide). Joe was very diplomatic about things and said that the products would speak for themselves. As such, I approached trying the arsenal of MedZone products as a “non-inferiority” trial compared to Body Glide, a product I’ve used for years.

Chafe Zone

In short, Chafe Zone is non-inferior to Body Glide and I mean that in the best way. For the past 6 weeks, I’ve kept my stick of Chafe Zone in the bathroom where I throw my running clothes on and have used it religiously. It’s easy to apply (deodorant style stick) and is translucent but thick enough to see where you’ve applied. Unlike Body Glide, Chafe Zone has a subtle scent which I actually really enjoyed. In terms of function, I had zero chafing incidents and we had some hot, sweaty days that would have been prime opportunities. My only observation with Chafe Zone is that it really stays on, even through a shower with scrubbing! This is a good thing if you’re a really heavy sweater but I did have a couple days where I wished it came off a tiny bit easier. This is where Chafe Zone stands out to me. It was designed first for military and tactical use and it is a formidable product that can go as long as you need it to without reapplication. 

Blister Zone

Blister Zone was harder to evaluate. Knock on wood, blisters have never been an issue for me although spikes tear my heels up. Ironically, I got my first blister in a long time during the Plattsburgh Half and was kicking myself that I didn’t use Blister Zone. Since then, I’ve used Blister Zone to protect that area as it has healed back up. Although it’s not the preferred order of operations, it has worked to keep the skin from opening back up. Given how well the Chafe Zone worked for me, I imagine that Blister Zone would work similarly well for blister-prone folks and Will has been using it on his hands under gloves while doing trail building this Spring.

Pain Zone

Finally, PainZone: This product comes in single use packages but also comes in a roller and is a less viscous version of other muscle rubs. Close to a liquid in consistency, it also contains 3% camphor for pain relief. I’ve been using it on Will’s right shoulder (he recently tore his labrum falling on a run) and he says that although the pain relief is nice, the best part is that the consistency of the gel allows for good muscle glide without any painful friction or pinching. This would definitely have been a product I wanted around for scar massage after surgery and we’re buying a stick for our house as Will awaits surgery later this summer.

In addition to providing me product to review, MedZone also offered three MedZone gift packs to giveaway to readers! I’ll pick three people by Random.org next Sunday (6/12/16) at 5 pm EST. There are three ways to enter*:

  1. Leave a comment about your worst chafing experience and picture of the carnage if you’re really brave.
  2. Post a picture of a chafing nightmare on Instagram and tag me (@runswatrun) and @goMedZone
  3. Share this post on your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (maximum of 1 entry for this option) and tag me and @goMedZone or send me a screenshot of your Facebook post.

*Maximum of three entries per person.

Train Like Meb Sweepstakes

When I was running along the Silver Strand last week, a guy came by me on an ElliptiGO and since I don’t see a lot of them in Vermont, I asked him how he liked it and he responded with a resounding “I love it!!!” I haven’t had the opportunity to try one yet (the bike shop in Coronado said they had them but apparently there was a mixup) but I’ve seen some of the UVM runners using them as well as one (possibly crazy) lady who commutes on Route 15 through insane traffic. I’m not someone who loves the elliptical because I feel locked in and get quite a bit of knee pain, so I’m interested in whether the ElliptiGO makes me feel similar aches and pains. At $2000, it’s a hefty investment right now especially when we only have one bike path where it could work but if we move somewhere for residency that is flatter, it will definitely be on my list to add to our gym.

This sweepstakes is an awesome opportunity to win both an ElliptiGO and a new pair of Skechers GoRuns and would definitely upgrade your spring training!

Have you tried an ElliptiGO? What’s your favorite cross training tool?

I Thought “Dog Days of Summer” Referred to August…

 

It’s getting hot. Like my previous life in Biloxi, Austin and North Carolina hot. I’m lucky in that heat and humidity doesn’t bother me as much as other people but it’s still pretty miserable.

Always a good sign when the forecast includes a cactus in Vermont.

Always a good sign when the forecast includes a cactus in Vermont.

In an effort to get my sh*t back together, I decided that I had to attempt my workout yesterday, despite cactus-friendly temperature. I had a firm talk with myself on the way down to the bike path about focusing on tempo EFFORT and form, no matter what the pace turned out to be. It worked. I did 30 minutes at tempo effort, which turned out to be 6:51 pace and not all that far off my continuous effort goal right now. The cool down was gruesome and I required a nap but I’m glad I got this in and looking forward to my second workout this week.

A rare sports bra only run. Somehow managed to coordinate it with my headband, so style points for that.

A rare sports bra only run. Somehow managed to coordinate it with my headband, so style points for that.

Finally, to help out a fellow runner in keeping her hair off her face until the heat breaks, the winner of the Sweaty Bands giveaway is Laurel who is already a Sweaty Bands devotee. In her comment, Laurel said she never runs without them and shared this great photo on Instagram as well.

Rocking a wide Sweaty Band in her winning entry

Rocking a wide Sweaty Band in her winning entry

How are you staying cool this week? What’s your tactic for talking yourself through workouts in tough weather conditions?

Week in Review (A Little Late): 6.23.14 to 6.29.14

First, today is the last day to enter the Sweaty Bands giveaway. Thanks for all the great entries and pictures thus far!

This training block has been the definition of “almost.” Like many people, I train in four week blocks, where I do three weeks that build and then an adaptation week to absorb that training. I’d intended this block to be at about 70 miles per week and every week, I’d be on track to meet or surpass that and every week something came up. Ended up at about 65 miles this block and I just have to let it go.

This particular post is a bit late because we moved yesterday! Four years in the same place + wedding + med school = SO MUCH STUFF. I’m so grateful we’ve moved into a bigger space because man did we need it. Still, my legs and feet are exhausted today so I’m glad it’s an adaptation week.

Monday AM: 8.5 easy in the heat

Monday PM: 4 miles with the team plus drills, hip core and lifting arms! Woot!

Tuesday: 9 miles including a minor run in with a car.

Wednesday AM: Rainiest.workout.ever. Did 7 by 800 at flooded-track I pace with 2:45 recovery in between. Lane 1 was totally under water so I just attempted to keep turnover up. 2:58 for the first before the deluge, rest were 3:04. Total of 10.5 miles

Wednesday PM: 3 miles with the team plus drills, circuits and legs.

Thursday: 7 mile trail run with Will at Catamount. Total blast.

Friday: 15 miles in 90 degree weather. Didn’t plan to get my long run in but since I was at 10 when I got home, I went for it. Glad I did, wouldn’t have had time with our weekend.

Saturday: 6.7 miles before the day trip to Boston. Legs tired from the long run in 90 degree heat.

Sunday: Moving plus 20 minute spin on the new spin bike. Ankle toast after being on it all week.

I’m admittedly a little frustrated/anxious that this cycle just hasn’t gone well thus far but trying to remain positive that this adaptation week will give me time to get the new house unpacked and refocus for the next block ahead.

How do you keep your optimism after a tough training block? Anyone else run in the deluge or scorching heat this week?

Sweaty Bands Product Review and Giveaway

This is how you kick off a Monday! I’m a low maintenance runner in terms of gear but one of my giant pet peeves is when my hair hangs in or sticks to my face while running. I wear a low bun for school/work 90% of the time but that’s not enough for running especially if wind is involved. As such, I’m a huge fan of headbands and have been on the constant hunt for one that is functional and fashionable.

My criteria for a headband (in descending order) are:

  1. Stays on without my having to adjust it during the run
  2. Doesn’t have so much grip that it rips my hair out
  3. Absorbs sweat
  4. Looks pretty

I currently have two from Old Navy that stay on well and look okay, but rip my hair and don’t absorb sweat. I have one from Lululemon that is pretty and generally stationary but not absorptive. Then I have a few cotton ones that I wear when I haven’t done laundry in 6 weeks that have no redeeming qualities except that they kind of hold my bangs back.

Thus, I was really excited to have the opportunity to review Sweaty Bands.  They are the brain child of an athlete who was sick of pushing her hair out of her face and are a small business with American made products. Perfect. When I reached out to them to ask to try them out, their customer service could NOT have been nicer. She sent me two bands; one to try and one to giveaway and they arrived within the week. When I emailed her this week to let her know the post would be going up since I’ve had time to test them out, she got back to me within the hour. It’s so nice to have a real person at a company, especially an apparel/accessories company where returns are a possibility.

IMG_2848[1]

Pretty packaging.

I’ll admit that when I first opened them up, I was skeptical. They really are aesthetically pleasing and in my headband hunting experience, this isn’t always a good thing. They also lack the “grippy” material inside that I’ve come to expect from sports headbands. Instead, they are lined with velvet.

Before picture...

Before picture…

From our first test run, I was in love. I didn’t have to adjust it once, it looked adorable and it absorbed a concerning amount of sweat. In fact, when I got home, I washed it immediately so I could wear it for my next run. When they went on sale last week, I started looking for more colors to add. Definitely a keeper for me and I’m looking for some to keep “clean” for clinicals when I can’t have hair in my face.

And after. Slightly sweaty runner girl but the band is in the same place.

And after. Slightly sweaty runner girl but the band is in the same place.

Because I like to share the wealth, I have a band to giveaway too AND I saved the pretty pink pattern for you! I’m giving away the pink paisley Sweaty Band to one lucky runner who enters between now and next Monday night (6.30.14 at 11:59 PM EST).

The pink one could be yours!!

The pink one could be yours!!

How To Enter (you can enter as many or as few of the ways below as possible):

  1. Comment with your worst or best running-related hair story.
  2. Share a picture via Twitter or Instagram of your post-run hair (@runswatrun)
  3. Share this post on Twitter (1 share per day). Just click on the Twitter icon at the end of the post so I can keep track and make sure the “via @runswatrun” is on there.
  4. Follow Runner Under Pressure
  5. Tell a friend about Runner Under Pressure and this giveaway and get them to comment on any post for an entry for you AND them. Just make sure they give you credit in the comment!

The Sweaty Bands were provided to me for free by Sweaty Bands. I received no other compensation and the opinions in this post are all mine. Entries will be tracked and a winner will be picked at random by random.org.

Good luck!!

 

A Week for the Dogs

First, thank you for all of your entries to the Stunt Runner giveaway! Here are two more adorable entries:

Precious Entry

Jamie’s young running buddy Precious

Laurel from Joyrunner's running buddy Samson

Laurel from Joyrunner’s running buddy Samson

The winner of the givaway is Lexa and her running momma Shelby. As you can see below, Lexa has lots of hardware from her momma’s exploits over the last year. Shelby is a seriously busy runner; she ran 10 half marathons last year and finished her first Boston this spring in just over 4 hours. Impressive lady!

Lexa Stunt Puppy

Shelby's Half Marathons over the last year. Impressive!!

Shelby’s Half Marathons over the last year. Impressive!!

Watson is excited to use his Stunt Runner leash this weekend as he and Will will be doing their first 5K together at the Doggie 5K this weekend. Their performance will be almost completely dependent on the weather, how many trees need marking and any particularly attractive squirrels along the course. I can’t wait to take pictures and be cheer squad for my two favorite boys.

How far do you travel for races? Have you done a doggie run?