Armpocket + iPhone 6 Plus = #awesome

Oh man, oh man! It’s been a great month, so far!
First we will talk about: I was fortunate enough to get a product sample to give feedback of the newest Armpocket, the one that will fit the iPhone 6 Plus. I had it in time for the Medtronic Marathon Weekend (race recap still in the works), and am EXCITED with what they did!
1. They kept the awesome bamboo fabric that wicks sweat and is soft on the skin = COMFORT WINS
2. They gave the phone enough room to fit WITH a slim case (like the leather one from Apple that I have) on the phone = SIZE WINS
3. The case is STILL water proof, in all the awesomeness. Puddles be warned! WIN!
4. For the size of the phone, the arm band didn’t move. It still has the amazing material with velcro keeping it from slipping, but having flexibility to not strangle your arm. COMFORT WINS
5. The touchscreen capabilities are the same = awesome. I can stop/start my apps just like that! WIN!
6. All of the interior compartments are still roomy enough for a key, ID, a hotel key, and some cash. If you have a slim chapstick, I’m sure that wouldn’t be uncomfortable to run with for short distances. WIN!
All-in-all = Winning!

I’ve seriously considered using it for shopping, since it holds the necessities (key, card, cash, chapstick) and it can’t get left on a store shelf or in the shopping cart.

This armband is called the i-40, and they’re shooting for making it available for sale later this week. I’m not sure what the color selection looks like, yet, as I was given a black one.

Take a look at what they’ve done for other phones, they do already have the armband for the iPhone 6 available for sale: Armpocket.com.
It’s a MUST HAVE for runners!
I have the i30 for the iPhone 5, and was not paid for this review. Everything is my honest opinion, and I was simply given an armband to review so they could perfect the final product. All negative feedback was given to the company and they fixed the problems in the final product.

Checking in!

The last time I am that bloated and inflamed.

The last time I am that bloated and inflamed.

Sorry for the long delay in posts, summer has been CRAZY BUSY!!

Ive been up to: increasing my lean muscle!!!

This has increased my per mile pace running, and given me an excuse to buy smaller clothes since my visceral fat has been depleting.

Wooo hoooo!!!

This coming weekend I’m running in the TC Loony Challenege   Stay tuned for the recap!!

Is anyone going to be participating in any of the Medtronic weekend festivities/races??

Travelling healthy lifestyle #TravelFit2014

After a 48 hour vacation, I’ve come to realize the essentials of travel for me:
Running gear:
Experiencing any city on foot gives you a perspective unlike any other, and running through any city in the morning gives you space unlike any other time of day. Running gear requires a lot of room and is the reason you pack a giant bag versus a backpack for a 48 hour trip.
Tip:
Tie your running shoes to the outside of your bag and no one will make you shove them into your bag if you’re flying.
Water bottle:
Most establishments don’t care if you’re carrying a water bottle, in fact most outdoor venues (concerts, ball parks, etc.) allow you to bring in an empty water bottle to refill at drinking fountains. Target Field in Minneapolis had Gatorade containers of free filtered water to dispense into water bottles all over the ball park for the All Star Game a few weeks ago.
Tip:
Backpacks or cross body purses will hold water bottles, even those tie string backpacks free up your hands for wandering with hot dog in hand.
Gallon jugs of water:
Buy gallon jugs of water at the local drug store for $1.50 and stock up your water bottle every time you’re at your hotel room. Or shove one into your backpack and be hydrated the whole day.
Bonus points if you carry an empty gallon jug into ball park and fill it up for free. (I have not done this, but it just occurred to me how awesome this would be for families!)
Purse Food:
Staying hydrated only goes so far, you also need nourishment if you’re walking all over. Las Vegas is the perfect example, throw some healthy snacks in a ziploc bag and stash in your day bag and have a bite every hour. Not only do you save money from eating over prices food, but you save time on waiting for a table and stay healthier by choosing a healthy option. I always carry dried cherries, some sort of nuts, and a protein bar. I have dietary allergies, so 1/3 of my luggage is always food and I’m not wasting time buying it or looking for it.
Compression socks:
Walking around for hours can be brutal, save your feet (and possibly your shins) by wearing comfortable walking shoes and compression socks. I sleep in knee high compression socks after each day I’m in Vegas and after each race day regardless of location.
Tip:
As long as it’s not liquid or a gel, you can carry food on to an airline. Stock up on other snacks at the local drug store if you’re sharing or will staying for long enough to buy in larger quantities.

What are some travel tips you have, or necessities you have to have along?

Researching protein powders

I’ve been reading Matt Fitzgerald’s The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition because I KNOW nutrition is 80% of performance.
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I’ve been a protein powder user for many years, trying different kinds, flavors, ways to make them, and I’ve always felt EXHAUSTED afterwards (and bloated) and thought it was normal.
In that book, I learned that my protein was probably not cutting it because it didn’t have a carb to protein ratio to benefit my recovery. I also learned I need more carbs during longer runs.
I now have autoship for GU through Amazon (that site seriously has everything!) to make sure I have it in stock.
I also tried a protein powder back in May and have since FALLEN IN LOVE with it. I even put a little in my fuel belt to use during training to find my perfect sports drink type hydration (since I can’t stand actual sports drinks this far).
1. I feel like I have MORE energy afterwards (instead of feeling like I needed a nap).
2. My legs and body goes into immediate recovery!
3. I don’t feel bloated!!!
4. It’s natural, with zero artificial sweeteners, and has only 5 ingredients.

Have you ever discovered something that has changed your life, like this?

#runthisyear half way point

I joined the #runthisyear 2014 challenge and I have a goal of running over 300 miles this year. As of this moment, I’m just over 160 miles. Yay!!!
I would like to thank my new protein powder for making me a faster runner, helping me recovering faster, and for pure bliss post run.
I’ve recently had to go up in sports bra size to accommodate my larger obliques so I can breathe and function better in the rib cage area. :/ Not sure how I feel about that.

Where are you on your 2014 goals?
What is new in your world that has helped your end game?

How the @thebirdtown 8K was inspirational

I heard about The Birdtown Half Marathon at the beginning of May, a little late in the year for me to comfortably sign up for a half marathon even though I knew I was capable of a successful race.
After looking at their website (thebirdtown.com), I learned they had two smaller distances I could run: an 8k and an 4k. These distances seemed very random to me, but didn’t put a second thought into it and I registered for the 8k.
An 8k is 4.97 miles, thank you Google.
About the race, from the website:
“This is the inaugural year of The Birdtown Half Marathon and we couldn’t be more excited! Our route will run the roads of Robbinsdale, MN through wooded parkways and around beautiful Minnesota lakes.”
The mayor of Robbinsdale made a promise that if 400 people registered for the race, he would run in a kilt. Not only did they hit that mark, they passed it and had to cap the number of runners to 650 and CLOSE registration for the 8k as it reached the 200 registration mark.
“Proceeds from The Birdtown Half Marathon will go to the Heart of Robbinsdale Community Foundation. Founded in 2007, the Heart of Robbinsdale Community Foundation was created with the mission of supporting and enriching the quality of life in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.”

The event was put together almost better than some of the BIG races I’ve participated in.
Check out these pre/post-race area maps:

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Those arrows are fantastic for someone like me!!
Here’s the photos I took during the race:
Not the greatest, and not that many, though.
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Starting area was next to this beautiful lake.
20140521-150131-54091167.jpgThe last stretch had a view of North Memorial Health Center, the main sponsor for this event, and where my grandma spent many years as a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room.
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It holds a few memories for me, visiting grandma at work, and eating lunch with her sometimes after my special doctor visits at the clinic across the street from the Hospital.
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I still have two pairs of her work scrub pants, they’re SO COMFORTABLE.
Back to the race…
It was a beautiful day: mostly sunny, temps expected to be in the 50s at the finish line, slight breeze. I made a rookie mistake of wearing my finisher shirt during the race, thinking it would keep the wind at bay, not knowing what it would actually help/hinder during my race since I didn’t even bother trying it on before hand.
There was a small issue with the chip time mats, so the start was delayed. I didn’t pay attention to the time that ticked by, I had my music on and zoned out to everything other than the morning run I was about to take on. I was feeling pretty stoked, after-all this was two days after my 12.2 HILLY run (that post here), and I had a deep tissue sports massage just the day before. I was expecting to be in some sort of pain, but I wasn’t. At all. It was a little odd, especially since the massage therapist told me to expect to be in pain and if I wasn’t in pain then I needed to come in every week to release the muscle tightness which we shall refer to as my entire back.
Once the timing system was working, we counted down from 10 and were off. I didn’t study the race route, I rarely do, so I just kept up with a few of the people in front of me. We shall refer to them as the only people in front of me, I was in the front part of the corral.
We followed a street through the cute part of Robbinsdale toward the bike path; along the way we had a few inclines, followed by some declines. I laughed to myself, probably out-loud, since I am once again running hills on a route I really should have looked into but didn’t.
We followed a sidewalk into the residential neighborhood, and there were spectators! After the residential neighborhood, we followed the Parkway to the finish line, and the last stretch had a wonderful decline.
The pace felt good throughout the race, I was struggling a little bit but just attributed that to my 12.2 miler 48 hours prior without even looking at what my current pace actually was. I just figured it was just going to be a difficult 10:00/mile pace for me to work through, and had to tell myself at least once during each mile that I could, and would, run this to the end.
This wasn’t a completely closed course, it was mostly monitored by course marshalls, and we stayed inside our orange cones. There were police officers at busy intersections to ensure safety, and some even cheered the runners on.
I will be running this event again.
The finisher shirt didn’t breathe as well as I would have liked it to, by the end of the race I was close to over heating. Thankfully I was well hydrated.
My results:
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WHAT?! Even though I heard the Nike+ Running app tell me I was doing pretty good for pace, I couldn’t believe it when I saw the time clock read in the 40s as I approached it! How inspiring I feel every time I think of that, and really believe I will speed up more often knowing how good I felt going that fast for that long!
By the mile:
1 mile 9’01”
2 mile 8’59” (fastest)
3 mile 9’06”
4 mile 9’31”
I am amazed, ecstatic, inspired, motivated.

Have you had one of these races?
What was your mantra to get yourself through something that felt so difficult and ended up be so rewarding?

9 hour day, 12 mile run, hills, hills, hills

HAPPY THURSDAY!
I started a different shift at work Tuesday night, 10pm-7:30am. I will only work 4 of these each week, which means a 3 day weekend! Today is my Friday, so #allthesleep and #allthefood shall be mine.

After I got home from work this morning, I knew I needed to get in my 12 miler I had been planning on all week. After a little dazed meandering around the house, I got geared up, figured out where I was going to run, and headed out.

I chose a new location, since I didn’t want to do laps in my neighborhood. I chose a county park 10 minutes from my house, I knew I could get all of my miles in and the scenery would be rejuvinating. I am running 12 miles, and I don’t want to get bored with my surroundings, afterall.

I couldn’t find a map with mileage of the trails, so I just set my sights on a path a started running. I knew I’d have to swap out 2 water bottles between miles 4 and 6, so I kept that in mind while the miles went by. There were a few hills, but I took them with stride. I made a 4.1 mile loop back to the Jeep, swapped the bottles, made a stop at the nearby port-o-potty, and the headed down a new path.

I am usually a fan of hills, but there were so many Hills.

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One of the paths lead me to this swamp that had a set of docks strung together to make a bridge.
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This part was such a TOUGH effort for my legs, those docks were on floats!!

and then more HILLS.
This one had one of those yellow caution signs at the top because of the decline.
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I successfully kept up my pace, despite the pain shooting through my legs after the dock and hills. After 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 58 seconds, I completed 12.2 miles!!!
In my cooler that I had packed, was a shaker bottle of what I am going to call a “Super Protein Shake.” I drank it after I spent 5 minutes with my feet up the side of my Jeep.
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The shake was delicious, gave me the recovery fuel I needed, and didn’t have a bad belly side effect afterwards (I never realized until now that belly bloat after protein is NOT normal).

Tomorrow I’m going to get my first massage, ever. And it’s going to be a sports massage. Perfect planning this week.
HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY!

<3 Emily