Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fantastic News!

So I'd previously mentioned that I was hoping for a big race in the spring. I can now say that's official!

I will be running the 2013 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Marathon Team! I couldn't be more excited. I've previously applied twice to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of charity, and I was not accepted. My sister-in-law ran for Mass General last year, and so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Last night, I got myself to the gym by figuring I could grab a turkey burger from B. Good on the way home. So I did a few miles on the treadmill and then spent some quality time with the foam roller. I then headed to B. Good for my reward. As I was waiting for my order, I started to scan through my email and saw the "you've been accepted" subject line. Holy cow! I was very excited.

Our first team meeting is in a few weeks, so I'll have more details then, but I will be documenting my preparations here. I have a feeling that in the coming months I will be able to talk about nothing but the Boston Marathon. My apologies in advance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sweaty Savings

I'm a sucker for workout clothes. Well, honestly I love all clothes, but I really love workout clothes. Not only are they motivation to workout but they are comfortable and often really cute.

The one think I am not a fan of is the price. $80 for a pair of pants that I'm just going to sweat in? I've done it, but still I sometimes have difficulty justifying it to myself.

So when I heard about PV Body, I was intrigued. I've been hearing about subscription boxes like Birch Box and PopSugar Must Haves, and I'd been wanting to check-out something similar.

According to their website, PV Body describes themselves as the following:

"For $39.95/month, we ship a new fitness outfit right to your door. Each box has a retail value of about $139. Avoid the mall, look good, feel great and have our personal stylists shop for you. Shipping is free and you can cancel your order any time."

The clothes seen on the website looked cute, and if you got something that you didn't like or that didn't fit, you could just exchange it or return the whole order for a refund. I had a discount code, and I figured it was a good time to test it out. I took their free online style quiz, created a profile, and signed-up to get my first order.

About 10 days later, a shiny pink package was on my door step.

I couldn't wait to open it, and inside, I found a bright pink tank top and a pair of black pants. I have to admit that initially I was a bit disappointed. It wasn't that I didn't like the items; they were just kind of boring. I already own black pants and there was nothing special about the pink tank top.

After taking a closer look at the pants, I realized they might be a keeper. They felt comfortable and had a thick waistband, which I love. They were actually pretty similar to my favorite pair of yoga pants which were starting to wear a bit thin. The best part? These pants have a tiny pocket in the waistband! I knew it would be perfect for my keys, ipod shuffle, or even a Gu.

I tried on the items, and I realized the pink tank top would make a great base layer for under running jackets or pullovers. It was form fitting but not too snug, and I'd feel comfortable wearing it to the gym. Now that I'm weight training more, I prefer to wear sleeveless tops to the gym. I love the mobility they offer, and since I have yet to get a sleeveless shirt from a race, there is a lack of them in my collection.

I decided to keep both items, and I worked out in the outfit a few days later. Overall, I was really comfortable in the clothes, and I thought they looked cute.

I had a coupon and got the outfit for just under $32, which isn't bad considering a tank top like this usually goes for around that amount. It's like getting the pants free! 

Since PV Body mentions the average retail price of a package is $139, I decided to do some exploring. 

The pants is American Apparel Performance Sportswear, so those were easy enough to find. They retail online for $48. 

The tank top is by Nux, a brand that I was unfamiliar with. I am pretty sure I got their Focus Tank which retails for $45. Over all the outfit retails at $93. That's almost 3 times what I paid!

The subscription is really easy to pause/cancel, but I think I'm going to give it another shot in December. I loved the surprise element, and while the clothes might not have been something I would have picked out on my own, I think they'll be great staples going forward. Plus I loved getting a bargin!

If you want to try out PV Body, you can get your first package for 20% off.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Running Streak Update

Hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!

We flew down to my parents' bright and early on Thanksgiving morning. (aka no turkey trot for me this year. sad face.)

I played a game of Scrabble with my Dad and then promptly passed out on our couch until it was almost dinner time.

This means I started my RW Running Streak the day after Thanksgiving. Man, was it a beautiful day! I wore a tank top and shorts and 4 (very hilly) miles.

Saturday, around 5pm, I still hadn't gone running and joked to my brother about how that was the shortest "streak" ever. He looked at the clock and said "well, you still have time." That was all the motivation I needed to get out and conquer 3 speedy miles.

I squeezed in a run last night, and then we did intervals during Burn this morning, during which I hit well over 2 miles. So the streak is alive and well! Now that I'm a few days in, I feel totally invested and I want to keep it up. It's definitely given me motivation these past few days, and I'm really excited to continue!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hug A Runner!

It's Hug A Runner Day!

We're hugging...sort of
This morning I got an email from Lululemon with the subject "What the fluff?" In lieu of giving myself a hug, I got myself a little present instead.

How are you celebrating Hug a Runner day?

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Power of Protein

This morning, I had a second Burn Challenge class! Boy it was tough, but I felt so great afterward. I definitely slacked off last week in the fitness department, so I was mad at myself as the other girls recapped their previous week's activity. It makes me want to step it up this week!

I have to say, the challenge did help me make some better choices eating wise this week. I ate out a ton this week but made smarter choices when ordering. I'd opt for a veggie loaded omelet over pancakes or started with a big salad before indulging in an appetizer portion of pasta.

After my workouts this past week, I have definitely been diligent in proper recovery. I have taken time to stretch and foam roll, and I have been consuming protein within one hour of working out. Protein goes hand-in-hand with working out as it helps repair and rebuild those muscles you just worked.

One of my favorite ways to get protein after a morning workout is to add a scoop of protein powder to my morning coffee! This morning I treated myself to a venti soy latte from Starbucks, and as soon as I came home, I added in my favorite protein powder. You still get a taste of the protein powder, but I mostly tasted my yummy latte. Another favorite is the "Protein Pancake" recipe on the back of the bag. It's easy and since it's a pancake, you feel like you're indulging. You can add this vanilla flavored protein to a smoothie for an extra boost or use a chocolate protein with some milk and peanut butter for a milkshake type treat.

How do you sneak protein into your diet?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holiday Running Streak

The Runner's World Holiday Running Streak is back!

For those of you not familiar, the holiday run streak is where you run at least one mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Years day. The streak is designed to help you stay motivated and fit during the chaotic holiday season.

I may already be doing the Burn Challenge, but I kind of want to do this too. I think it goes hand in hand with what I'm trying to accomplish through Burn, plus I've been wanting to recommit to running. Hopefully, I will have some big Spring races to train for and this would be a perfect spring board for those.

the best part? A mile is totally an easy thing to cram on days where I am over scheduled, sleepy, or stressed. This week alone, I did not workout Tuesday (whoops!). Thanks to staying up too late watching Homeland last night, I did not wake-up early enough to squeeze in a workout this morning. But a mile? I could have done that.

Runners, are you going to join in the streak?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pret A Manger

I was pretty excited when a few weeks ago I saw Pret A Manger signs just a few blocks away from my apartment. They serve up sandwiches that are made from fresh, natural ingredients. They're an easy grab-n-go option for busy folk, and they also do good works in the community by donating unsold food to charities.

As if that weren't enough, tomorrow they are giving away free food at their two new Boston locations. I seriously can't wait for their opening, and I know I'll become a loyal customer quickly. If you live/work near by, I high recommend checking it out. Yum.  

I have a soft spot in my heart for this place, basically because I ate one of their veggie sandwiches the day before the NYC Marathon. It was delicious and clearly magical as I PRed with a 4:04 marathon the next day.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Feel the Burn

I don't know if I've talked about it on here before but my gym offers what they call "Burn" classes. They are small group training sessions lead by a trainer, and they typically consist of treadmill intervals and strength training. They're usually "drop-in" style, so you just sign-up for one class at a time. They're a great way to mix-up your workout routine and they give an extra boost

Recently, my gym announced that they were going to run a "Burn Challenge" during the holiday season. You sign-up for a 6-week Burn session, and they track each participants results. The participant with the greatest percent of change and most visits during the six weeks wins a free small group training session!

The free session instantly intrigued me, and I knew it would be great motivation through out the challenge. As a runner, I'm definitely competitive, and with the holidays around the corner, I know I need something that will make me say "no" to the extra helpings of Thanksgiving treats.

The other problem with the holiday season is that schedules fill-up early and quickly. So initially, I couldn't make a commitment to any of the session. I was bummed. Then they added a Monday morning class...

So now for the next six weeks, I will be feeling the burn Monday mornings at 6am!

The first session was this morning, and my trainer Tara took down our BMI, body fat %, and our weight. We also held a plank for as long as we could and did a half mile sprint. I held my plank for just a little over a minute (My core is so weak!), I did the sprint in 3:10 (whoooo!), and I won't share the rest because my weight really doesn't need to be on the internet.

I think it will be so helpful to have tangible numbers to beat. Plus our trainer is competitive too, and she told us that she wants her group to be the best, so I'm looking forward to that extra motivation!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bright Lights, Cold City

My co-worker knows I'm a runner (probably because I talk about running way too much), so when she saw the November 2012 issue of Competitor magazine, she grabbed me a copy.

I don't usually read Competitor, but I was instantly impressed with it. There are lots of great articles and very few ads. I will definitely be reading more of this magazine in the future.

As it's now getting dark in Boston at 4pm, the "Running in the Dark" section especially piqued my interest. They had a ton of cool night gear. I instantly was drawn to the yellow down pullover. Most of my night gear is pretty thin, and most of my cold weather gear is dark colored. (Have I just missed the bright AND warm clothing or does it not exist?)

I was not surprised to see that Lululemon was the creator of this pullover, as their clothing is so smart. I swear any workout clothing issue I can think of, they somehow seem to overcome. Like how I would love to run in just a sports bra when it's hot out, but I would die before showing off my pale flabby tummy. Oh hey, they designed a breezy running singlet/sports bra combo that tackled this problem and was cute to boot.

Anyway, I instantly popped over to the Lululemon website, but couldn't find the pullover. I utilized their handy chat feature and a friendly rep named Jill told me that it wasn't out yet. She did sign me up for new product alerts so that I would find out when it's available. How helpful is that?!

Do you have favorite night gear or winter gear? Or (gasp) winter night running gear?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Frozen Legs

For the first time all week, I actually feel warm. Perhaps that's because I stopped denying the dropping temperatures and wore my winter coat and fleece lined tights to work today.

Or perhaps it's because last night I foolishly wore my shorts home from the gym. This wouldn't have been a big problem except it was sleeting and the route between the gym and my apartment might as well be a wind tunnel. I could barely feel my legs by the time that I got home.

By the time I got to the gym, I could only really work out for 30 minutes. So I came up with a very creative speed workout. I did it on a 1% incline while watching the Friends episode "The One with the Flashback."

*Friends episode optional
As you can see, my "Treadmill Workout" is quite complicated. I go faster every minute until I want to die for 7 minutes. Why 7 minutes? Mainly because 9mph seemed like a good stopping point. You'll also notice my lengthy "cool down" of 1 minute. I just figured walking 4 mph for 5 minutes would be a great cool down, then at 28:30 I figured I should go for an even 30 minutes. So that last minute I went progressively slower. If I'd been thinking I would have done 9.5 for 30 seconds so I could have an even 30 minute workout. Maybe next time or sometime when my legs are nice and warm from being in flannel tights all day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Happened to Fall?

Hi. It's been awhile. I'm still trying to figure out exactly where October went. I feel like I blinked and suddenly I was older...

Obama was elected for another 4 years...

And now I'm wearing fleece tights and a winter coat to work. Sheesh!