Running Nicknames

Runner (“P.R.”) brought this up one day and it gave me the giggles. Enjoy!

-Bride “Miley VonMudder”

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Gear Review: 2XU Hyoptik Tights

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Hyoptik Tights 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!

Well its Wednesday so it must be time for anther gear review. (Working on making it a weekly topic)

Every year being a runner a triathlete becomes harder when the weather turns and the morning move from being crisp to being cold!  I think its safe to say that the majority of runners, like myself, prefer to run outside rather than inside, either on a treadmill or a track.  I am constantly looking for anything that can make running during those cold winter days any easier.  I am looking to find any product that might keep my warm while still allowing my body to breathe after it gets warmed up after a mile or two.

I have not found many products that have impressed me as much as the Hyoptik tights from 2XU.  These compression tights are meant to help you not just run better but also run warmer! I usually am one of those runners that just runs in the cold with shorts and short sleeves with some arm warmers and gloves.  One the really cold days I might put on a sock hat.  Something that I never wore before was pants or tights. The 2XU tights changed that.

2XU Hyoptik TightsI never wore tights before because when I had they did not make my run any better. They were uncomfortable, made my legs warmer and wear out faster.  2XU has designed these tights with that problem in mind.  These tights keep your legs warm in during those early, windy, cold miles but gives your legs plenty of opportunity to breathe and remain cool.

Beyond the obvious advantages that these tights bring on those cold winter days, I have also found they work out great during other workouts.  I wore them while on bike rides and they worked well to keep my legs warm during the cool morning rides. Also I wore them during a couple of gym workouts and the tights did not cause my legs to get any more warm during those indoor workouts.

I cannot recommend these tights enough. If anyone is needing a product to use during those cool runs where you want to remain comfortable at the beginning and throughout, then you should go out and purchase these immediately.

For those who are ready to add a new piece of gear to their closets:
Get 20% off with the discount code “RUN20”

-Runner

Training Week Review: Jan 18-Jan 24

Jan 18: BRIC
-Cycling Session: 1 Hour Spin (27.50 miles)
-Run Session: 2 Mile BRIC Run (Total: 15:23, 7:41 min/mi)

Jan 19:
-Strength Training: Shoulders & Upper Arms (45 minutes)

Jan 20:
-Run Session: Mile For Time (Total: 5:55, 1 Mile)
-Cross-Training: Rowing (Total: 2,500m, 11:48, 2:22 min/500m)
-Run Session: 5K (Total: 24:33, 7:55 min/mi)

Jan 21:
-Swim Session: 1,250yd (Total: 23:21, 1:52 min/100yd)
-Strength Training: Core & Stretching (50 minutes)

Jan 22:
OFF DAY!

Jan 23: Indoor Sprint Triathlon Mirror Workout
-Swim Session: 2,000 yd ladder session (Total: 38:08, 1:54 min/100yd)

Jan 24:
-Cycling Session: 3 hour indoor spin (Total: 46.98 mi, 15.7 mph)

 

This week was the first week that I focused on getting to the gym consistently and completing triathlon specific exercises.  Although my training has not officially started yet, I am completing my training schedule for the year and will begin to follow it officially at the beginning of February.  My primary focus this week was to have good strength training sessions that focused on triathlon specific strength.  I know that with more strength will come more endurance and times.

In the upcoming weeks I will begin to stress swim sessions more than I have been since the swim is not only my weakest discipline, but it is also the one that I believe I can improve the most on.  These sessions will stress endurance with long reps and high yardage in order to build a better performance in the upcoming races.  I will also focus my strength sessions on the muscles that best serve my swimming.

-Runner

Gear Review: Wigwam Ironman® Flash Pro Sock

Taken from Wigwam.com

Taken from Wigwam.com

Christmas is always an exciting time.  No matter how old you get it is always exciting to get a gift.  That fact is especially true when you have a good suspicion that your gift is going to have something to do with either running or triathlons!  Bride knows that my two major hobbies involve a lot of gear, and I am always looking for what my next piece of gear will be so when I saw the two gifts under the tree I had a good idea that they both involved adding to my ever growing collection of gear.  And I was not wrong.

One of those gifts was a pair of Wigwam Ironman Flash Pro socks.  When a lay person lists out the gear that someone would need they to complete a road race or a triathlon they will most likely list socks, but they will gloss over the importance of them during a race.  I have had some pairs of socks that I bought thinking they would be perfect, just to have them end up adding to my misery after a few miles on the road.  I have also had socks that I have relied on for all of my long runs because of the additional support or cushion that they provide.

Low profile on the foot!

Low profile on the foot!

I have had the opportunity to wear these socks for a few runs so far and I am very impressed.  The socks are made of mostly nylon but have a warm smooth feel to them on your feet.  I would describe it as almost a wool feel.  They sit very low on your foot but do not slip down on your heel while running that could lead to some blisters forming on the back of your heel.  I have had socks that did that in the past and a mid run blister has led to some of my worst runs ever.  I could not ask for more of these socks and I am going to get more in the future.  The only downside, and it is a big one, is the price.  The socks regularly sell for $13 a pair on the Wigwam website so if you can find a deal on them they will be well work the price.  They are not my everyday sock (because I do not want to spend the money to but that many pairs) but they are one of my go to socks when I know that I do not want any distractions during my workout.

Highly recommended!

-Runner

Training Week Review: Jan 4-Jan 10

Jan 4:
-Swim Session: 1K (200 yd sets; working on stroke length)
-Strength Training: Arms (45 minutes)

Jan 5:
-Run Session: 5K Consistent Pace (Total 24:10, 7:48 min/mi)

Jan 6:
-Swim Session: 1,650 yds (500 yds sets with a warm up and cool down)

Jan 7:
-Strength Training: Core (45 minutes)

Jan 8:
-BRIC Bike Session: 27.50 Miles (Hour Spin session)
-BRIC Run Session: 1 Mile (8:33 min/mi)

Jan 9: Indoor Sprint Triathlon Mirror Workout
-BRIC Bike Session: 12 Mi (23:52, 30.2 MPH)
-BRIC Run Session: 5K (23:20, 7:32 min/mi)

Jan 10:
-Strength Training: Shoulders & Core (50 minutes)

This week was the first week that I really focused on making sure I did multiple workouts geared towards triathlon.  Although I have not officially begun training for my next triathlon, (training officially begins January 18) I want to have a couple of weeks lead up to week 1.  My goals for this year will require many more heavy training weeks that will include many more laps in the pool and hours in the saddle and I know that just jumping into training would not be the most beneficial to me.

I really enjoyed my workout on Saturday.  I wanted to mirror a sprint triathlon including the swim but the winter break hours at the university rec center mean that the pool does not open until noon on Saturday so I had to settle for just the bike and the run.  I was very pleased with how I felt during and after the run.  Last year my run suffered and I think it was because I did not BRIC enough during my training so this cycle I am making a point to BRIC fairly frequently, even if it is just a mile or two after a ride.  This will hopefully pay big dividends on race day.

-Runner

 

Bride is in the house!

Hello my friends! It’s been a while, 7 months in fact. Well, Bride is back for 2016. Runner has been so dedicated to keeping up this blog that I didn’t want to let him down by flaking out.

Life update: PA school officially started June 1, 2015. Time flies. It’s also amazing how much my life has changed and how much I’ve learned. PA students warned me that the learning would be like trying to drink from a fire hose. This was 100% correct. Graduation is August 2017.

Fitness update: Zumba classes have been my main source of physical activity. Lately, I’ve been attending spinning classes which I’m loving. I hope to keep this up and maybe even run a few miles here and there.

Hope this isn’t too late, but here’s what Runner got for Christmas:

(Think of it as gift ideas for triathletes.)

Also, I recently stumbled upon this gem of a website: triwivesclub.com

 

 

Gear Review: XX2i USA1 Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i USA 1 Sunglasses 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 review!

XX2i Glasses in McLeanMany people believe that the only thing you need to run is a pair of shoes but any person who has trained for a race knows that is incorrect. No matter how much equipment I get I always find that there is other pieces of equipment that will help me train better, be more comfortable and get faster.  Beyond all the extra equipment, beyond shoes, there are only a few pieces that I advise any beginning runner to get.  I always suggest to find some socks that are very comfortable and a good pair of sunglasses.

I have blue eyes and I feel that my eyes are more sensitive than others but everyone should have a good pair of sunglasses for those sunny days that are beautiful that you must go on a run.  With the importance that I put on having a good pair of sunglasses I am constantly looking for the best pair available.  That brought me to try out the XX2i USA 1 sunglasses recently.

It is tough to make a pair of sunglasses unique.  There have been many different types of sunglasses made for specific purposes.  The XX2i sunglasses are not created for a specific purpose, rather they are made to be a great overall pair to wear while pounding the pavement or while driving.

XX2i Glasses in CarbondaleUnfortunately I found that the XX2i glasses did not stand out in the crowded field of sunglasses.  The USA 1 glasses are good glasses but I feel that they are just good but not really great for any one purpose.  They hug your head and stay very still during a run which is more than many other glasses.  I think it says a lot that I really do not have much to say negative about this pair, but at the same time, I do not have much to say positive about them either.  They are a classic glasses and there is not much that I can say beyond that.  If you can get a pair then I would suggest you do so, they will work well for any runner, or endurance athlete, but there are other pairs out there that are better suited for running or cycling.  Although there are better glasses out there, these will not disappoint and will serve any runner well.

-Runner

Looking Back: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Today begins the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.  The Dopey runners will be racing first to the expo today before beginning their four days of races.  With the 5K starting tomorrow followed by the 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon.  Each year I get emotional when this weekend approaches.  This race has been a very important part of my life and will always be special to me.

When I started running I was looking for a goal race and when I saw the date for the Disney Marathon I knew it would be perfect for me.  I was an undergrad and knew that the best race would be during the winter break allowing me to take an extended vacation to the race and not have to worry about quickly heading back to attend class.   That was beyond the fact that getting to run around Disney would be a great first race to complete.  It served as a great motivation during the training and will always be one of my favorite races.

Beyond Disney being my first marathon, it was also the race where I accompanied two of my best friends complete their first marathon.  In 2014 and 2015 I accompanied friends through the 26.2 miles as they completed their first race.  Being able to watch each of them through the struggle that each marathoner has made me realize how great an accomplishment completing the race is.  I have accomplished a lot of goals since I started running, but seeing each of them cross the finish line in Orlando was a unique accomplishment that I will always appreciate.

Lastly, and most importantly, this race was the backdrop for one of the most important events in my life.  After completing my first marathon in 2012 I made another commitment that would change my life, I proposed to Bride! I thought that there was no better way to signify an ending of one chapter in my life and starting a new one than completing my first marathon as the period of one chapter and proposing as the introduction to the next chapter.

During my training for Disney Marathon 2012 I grew so much and learned so much about myself.  It changed my life forever and I will always look fondly at the race, the environment, and the emotions at the finish line.

-Runner

Run Review: Monuments, Wreaths, and (Capitol) Hill!

20151230_113221I fell in love with the challenge of running while in undergrad while running on country roads and sidewalks around Illinois.  But I fell in love with the act of running while running around Washington DC during the 2.5 years that I lived less than a mile from the National Mall.  During this time I ran countless miles in the shadows of America’s most recognizable monuments and statutes. This week, while visiting my wife’s family for Christmas and New Years, I took advantage of the weather to once again run around some of the most beautiful sites in the country.

Washington DC run 12-30-2015

20151230_125742I started in a place that has a love hate relationship with my running memories. East Potomac Park was one of the most common locations I would run.  It was just a mile from my apartment and provided clear roads where I could put in miles without having to stop for traffic lights or pedestrians.  The park also proved to be one of the loniest places to run causing me to spend many hours running with no one to keep me company but my own thoughts.  I came to welcome the mental challenge of running around the point of this park and I am confident that it helped me become a better mental runner.

From East Potomac Park I ran up West Potomac Park and across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the gates of Arlington National Cemetery.  This is also a common turn around point for many of my runs, including both shorter runs and longer ones.  Across the bridge and to the front gate is almost exactly one mile so across and back adds almost exactly two miles to any run.

While I stopped at the gates I noticed a great site.  Each December Wreaths Across America honors all of our soldiers by adorning graves of soldiers with wreaths at cemeteries across the country.  The largest display is always at Arlington.  I have volunteered multiple times to be one of the thousands of volunteers who get to put the wreaths on the graves as part of the show of appreciation.  The wreaths were still on the graves and I had to go into the cemetery and take some photos to show the beauty that the wreaths provide to the cemetery. 20151230_115159.jpg

After leaving the cemetery I went back across the bridge and to the Lincoln Memorial and to the Washington Monument.  Each of these monuments is beautiful in its own rite and provide such an entertaining backdrop to run around.  There are hundreds of fellow runners and thousands of tourists traversing the sidewalks and paths around these monuments and the mall that I cannot help but continue running no matter how tired I have been during some runs.

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After leaving the Washington Monument I fan to the Capitol (whose dome is being currently worked on) and traversed Capitol Hill.  There are not many hills around the National Mall so anytime I wanted to do any hill work I headed to Capitol Hill and ran up and down.  As any one can imagine, these workouts are some of the hardest and each time I run up the Hill I cannot help but remember the suffering that has occurred on the slopes.

20151230_123633After reaching the top I had to make a special stop.  I just completed my first semester of law school and I felt obligated to stop and take a photo in front of the Supreme Court building.  Despite the fact that few lawyers ever work in the building, and even fewer ever sit as a justice, every lawyer’s knowledge of the law is based on many of the decisions that have taken place within the building.  No law student should come to DC without making a stop at this building and contemplating the knowledge that has come from this building and the impact that the decisions will have on his/her career going forward.

After the Supreme Court building I concluded my run by running back to East Potomac Park and my waiting car.  The total mileage was 9.5 and it ended up being my last run of 2015 and I could not think of a better run to conclude what was a great running year for me.  I love the ability to run around such a great running city and I am looking forward to many future runs around the monuments in the future.

You can find all of my photos here.

-Runner

 

2016 Resolutions

I always try to make an effort to make resolutions each year that are meant to not only help me plan out the year ahead but also help me push myself for bigger and better goals! Here are the resolutions that I have set for 2016, including some extra information about what the goal includes:

  1. PR at the half Ironman: After completing my first half Ironman in 2015 I am going to push myself further and hopefully set a great PR this year!
  2. Compete at USA Collegiate National Triathlon Championships in Clemson, SC: I am a member of the SIU Triathlon Team and I hope to represent them at the national competition in Clemson, SC in April
  3. Better Diet: I need to be more specific with this goal but I overall want to have a better diet that will revolve around planning out my meals better and keeping better track of my caloric intake each day.
  4. Keep A Journal: This includes not just journaling my training but also journaling my life.
  5. Read More: Since I have started law school I have not been taking time for myself to read the books that I want.  It is not the most fun to constantly read dense legal opinions and analysis and I hope that more personal reading will allow me to break from the monotony that legal reading provides.
  6. Get Faster: This has been a goal for the last few years and I have consistently been getting faster over the longer distances.  This year I want to push for a sub 20 minute 5K and a sub 6:00 mile.  These will be tough to achieve but focusing on my speed will help with all distances.
  7. Try One New Thing Every Month: This will hopefully allow me to find some new activities that I will enjoy.  Maybe some will even introduce me to a new challenge!

These resolutions are meant to not only keep me focused on what my goals are and allow me to maintain a balance between life, work and fun.  Knowing what I want to achieve will allow me to successfully work each day to get one step closer to that goal. Here’s to a successful 2016!