|May 15th, 2013||Gear, Reviews|
You all know how much I love my compression socks. They’re amazing when I’ve completed a long run (which hasn’t happened in SO long), because they help circulate the blood and assist with muscle recovery.
After my half marathon, I wore compression socks for the next few days. I even wore them to work under my pants with my winter boots.
Since we have warmer weather & I hope to start running again VERY SOON, I realized that I can’t exactly wear compression socks under my pants with open toed wedges or other summer-time shoes.
… until I was introduced to compression sleeves.
The new Reflect Compression Leg Sleeves by Zensah offer front and back visibility with 400% more reflectivity than any other compression sleeves on the market. So if you like running during early morning, evening, or dark hour runs, these sleeves will keep you visible! Additional benefits include calf support, shin splint relief, faster recovery, and reduced fatigue.
I really enjoy these sleeves because although they are have pretty tight compression, they don’t hurt if I wear them to bed. Initially, I thought that since they didn’t cover my feet and they cut off at the ankle, they would be really tight and uncomfortable… but that is not the case! Sometimes I forget that I even have them on.
Key Features & Specs
They are available in 5 colors: neon green (as shown above), black, neon pink, neon orange and neon yellow. You’ll be sure to find a color to match your favorite running skirt
If you’re interested in purchasing Zensah Reflect Compression Leg Sleeves, you can get them from their website for $39.99 a pair. They come in three sizes: XS/S, S/M, L/XL.
FTC: The compression sleeves were provided by Zensah for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Talk to Me
- Do you own compression sleeves?
- How often do you wear compression material after working out?
- If you had to pick one color to buy, which would you choose?
|December 27th, 2012||Gear, Giveaway, Running|
Before I get into the post scheduled for today, I wanted to say that I FINALLY WENT BACK TO THE GYM. As you know, I did a short workout on my birthday, but today I got back to running.
I woke up at 5:30AM, put on my new Running Skirts gear and drove to the gym. It was damp and cold outside, so walking the 1000 feet to the gym today just wasn’t an option.
The best part about this shirt… the length! It’s perfect for my long torso. I can’t wait to wear the top with leggings to yoga! The headband actually matches the pattern of one of my running skirts I own from Running Skirts. I can’t wait until the weather gets warmer so I can wear it again!
Getting back into running was not easy. Trust me it was not easy at all. I only did two miles, but it was two miles more than I’ve done all month. I figure I’ll start slowly and get back to the fitness level I was a few months ago. No need to get injured!
Okay… now that you’ve read about my morning workout… I guess I’ll tell you about the GIVEAWAY!
Mediterranean Snacks Giveaway
While I was at the Runner’s World Half Festival, I received a bag of Mediterranean Snacks’ Baked Lentil Chips. At first glance, I thought… hmm interesting but it probably tastes like cardboard (hey, at least I’m honest). When I opened the package and tried the first chip, they were actually amazing! Even Bryan likes them!
The flavors I received were:
- Sea salt
- Parmesan garlic
- Cucumber dill
- Cracked pepper
- Roasted tomato – my favorite!
I’m giving away a mixed box of lentil chips, a tote bag, and t-shirt for one lucky reader! See below on how to enter. The giveaway closes next Monday!
Here’s how to enter this giveaway!
- Comment below and let me know what flavor you’re looking forward to trying
- “Like” me on facebook (optional)
- “Follow” me on twitter (optional)
- Tweet –> Want to try lentil chips? @_nicolekennedy is having a giveaway! (optional)
- ** please comment below each time you either “like” “follow” or “tweet”. That way I know to give you separate entries!
Talk to Me
- What flavor are you looking forward to?
- Have you ever tried lentil chips?
- What’s your all time favorite flavor chip?
|December 26th, 2012||Gear, Holiday|
I finally got it.
The Garmin Forerunner 405 that I’ve been talking about and wanting for over a year now.
Thanks Bry! I wasn’t even expecting a Christmas present this year, due to that sparkly thing on my finger. You know… no big deal or anything.
I’ve taken a break from running since the half marathon, but now that I have my new Garmin I’m very excited to get back out there and start running again. It wasn’t too difficult to set up… once I figured out how to turn off the foreign language I accidentally set.
The only thing I need to figure out is how to set up the drivers so my laptop can read the USB stick. I downloaded everything it told me to and even tried re-downloading the drivers, but nothing is being read. Anyone else come across this problem?
On another note: a giveaway tomorrow!
Getting back into the gym
I don’t know about any one else, but I’m itching to go back to the gym after a pretty long hiatus. After my half marathon training, I really injured my knee and didn’t want to risk causing more damage. Now that it’s all better again, I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.
A routine is how I get back into the gym. If I go to the gym everyday before or after work, I’ll be more likely to keep going. However, if I go once and then skip a few days, I’m more likely to skip many days.
With my busy work schedule, I know that the best time for me to go to the gym is probably in the mornings, however I like to use my mornings to catch up on freelance projects and blogging. That being said, I’m going to try and go after work this week and see how I feel. If I’m really sluggish, I’ll switch over to mornings.
Talk to Me
- How do you get back into the swing of things after a long hiatus?
- What running watch do you own? Do you like it?
- Are you trying any new workouts for the new year?
|November 27th, 2012||Gear, Reviews, Running|
I haven’t gone for a run since the Half Marathon, so there isn’t much to post about running. However I do want to tell you about the Zensah Smart Touch Running Gloves. A representative from Zensah asked me if I’d like to try out their gloves for the half marathon, and of course I said YES! I’d be looking for a pair of gloves to wear and had no luck until I saw these.
The gloves are great because they have the iTip technology, which allows you to use your iPhone or other touch-screen devices. When I found out that little fact, I was sold! I hate when I go for a run in the winter and I have to take off my gloves to flip through my music.
During the half marathon, I wore the gloves for the first few miles until my whole body started to warm up. The gloves are very breathable and keep your hands warm but not too warm. I think these are perfect for running, but probably not too great for your everyday commute. I prefer to have fleece or leather gloves for the day-to-day, but I will keep these gloves around for my outdoor runs this season.
The gloves also have silicon gripping on the palm of each glove to keep your devices in place. Although a minor detail, I find this to be critical. There’s nothing worse than wearing gloves and have your expensive iPhone slip out of your hands and onto the ground.
I don’t typically run at night, but if you do these gloves also have reflective stripes for increased visibility.
For $29.99 you can’t really beat these gloves. They are the perfect holiday present for the runner in your life.
Talk to Me
- What winter gear do you wear when you run outside?
- Have you ever tried gloves with iTip technology?
- How long do you typically keep gloves on during your runs?
|November 5th, 2012||Gear, Reviews, Running|
Instead of doing my usual weekend recap this morning, I wanted to make sure I mentioned these amazing products that I’ve been wearing a LOT during my runs.
While I was at Runner’s World Half Festival, I was able to try some new running gear. Two of the things I picked up were the FreeMotion Performance Apparel “Wind” Jacket and a headband from Sweaty Bands.
FreeMotion Performance Apparel Wind Jacket
I’ve been looking for a running jacket for quite some time so I knew I’d be wearing this jacket a lot. Bryan already makes fun of me, because I always seem to be wearing it. It’s extremely comfortable, what can I say?!
According to the website,
“We’re not going to lie. This is the cutest workout jacket ever. We’ve layered a lightweight crop windbreaker over a soft, supple jacket to bring some fashion and flair to fitness. And, since life doesn’t stop after the gym, you could wear this everywhere. The sleeve cuffs are extra wide and super stretchy. Push them up so you can get down.”
I’d say this is 100% true.
The one thing that I do want to point out is that I love that the jacket is on the longer side. I have a pretty long torso and it’s always been a problem finding tops that don’t fit like a belly shirt. I’m not lying. There’s nothing worse than running in the cooler months with a top that creeps up in the back- leaving space for freezing air. No thank you.
I’m also loving the gorgeous colors on this jacket. Most of my work out gear is black, so it’s nice to have a pop of color every now and then. The jacket literally matches with almost 100% of my work out bottoms. The only thing it doesn’t match are my neon green Nike Tempo Shorts. But maybe I’ll feel adventurous next spring and bust out all of these colors at once.
Another amazing thing about this jacket (there are many things, I know) are the sleeve cuffs. I love how stretchy they are and how they are also really long. They keep my wrists warm and I don’t have to worry about my sleeves coming up thanks to the thumb holes. Perfection!
You can purchase this jacket for $99 by going to the FreeMotion website.
Have you ever been on a run when you have to fix your hair multiple times because it keeps getting into your face? Have you ever worn a headband that kept falling back on your head? I know I have and although I do love my Lululemon anti-slip headband, I was looking for other options.
Enter in: Sweaty Bands.
The inside of the band is a soft, fuzzy material, similar to velvet. This makes the band anti-slip and I love it. I’ve been wearing it on every run since I first got the headband, and I haven’t been happier. I love the embroidery on the top of the headband, because it’s different than any other headband I’ve ever seen.
The headbands range from $15-$18, which is pricey, but you can purchase on the Sweaty Bands website. The quality of these headbands make it worth the purchase. I know I’ll have this headband for many years and races to come.
Talk to Me
- What is your favorite place to purchase headbands?
- Do you have a wind jacket that you like to run in? What does it look like?
- Tell me about a piece of running clothing that you seem to always wear.
|October 31st, 2012||Gear, Half Marathon Training, Reviews, Running|
By now you all know that I got to attend the Runner’s World Half Festival in Bethlehem PA a few weekends ago. It was the first time I met up with other healthy living bloggers and it was definitely an event to remember. Want to read my recaps so far and get caught up on this madness?
This, my friends, is Part 3 of my recap from that awesome event! I received a bunch of awesome goodies to test out on my blog. But one item that I tried out right away is this little gem. If you’re a runner or athlete in general, you’re going to really appreciate what I’m going to tell you…
THE STICK IS AMAZING.
What is The Stick?
The stick is also referred to as the “toothbrush for muscles.” It’s a device used to compress and stretch your muscles. It treats muscle pain and trigger points.
Some benefits associated with the Stick:
- Prevents and predicts muscle injuries
- Dramatically improves strength, flexibility, and endurance
- Rapidly prepares muscles for activity
- Disperses the effects of lactic acid
- Accelerates muscles recovery!
Which Stick is best for me?
The company offers a range of Sticks to choose from based on your body type and the reasons for using the Stick. Here is a graphic that outlines the different Sticks they offer and details about each one.
How do you use The Stick?
It’s pretty self explanatory, but after you do a hard run (or really any workout), you use The Stick to massage any muscle that needs it! I like using this on my calves and hamstrings after a long run to speed recovery!
Which Stick did I choose?
I chose the Stiff Stick because I wanted something that would be firm enough for a deep massage, but could be used for lighter massages as well.
I’ve been using the Stick after my runs and I notice a significant difference the next day when I use it. I love this because I don’t even need to lay on the floor to use it. I used it on the floor in the photo below because the photo came out better than when I used it on my couch (blogger secret!).
I enjoy The Stick over my foam roller because:
- I don’t need to lay on the floor to use it. I can lay on the couch and use it while I’m watching TV.
- It travels a LOT easier.
- It targets my legs and gives it a deeper massage.
For more information on The Stick and where to purchase, check out The Stick website.
FTC: I was given a complimentary stick for review at the Runner’s World Half Festival. All opinions are my own. No compensation was given.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever tried The Stick?
- Which Stick are you interested in trying?
- What type of recovery method do you do post-runs? Ice bath, foam roller, other?
|October 23rd, 2012||Events, Gear, Running|
In case you missed all of my Twitter posts this weekend, I was at the Runner’s World Half Festival in Bethlehem. You can view Part 1 of my recap that goes over the 10K. In this recap, I wanted to talk about one of the sponsors, Altra Zero Drop.
When I arrived on Saturday the other bloggers had already done the Altra Zero Drop clinic, but the wonderful people at Altra allowed some of us to take part in it late. Before heading to Bethlehem, I had never heard of Altra or even knew what type of running shoes they offered.
After my 10K was finished, I rushed over to the expo to take part in the Altra Clinic with Karen and Sylvia. I was excited to learn more about Altra, because I saw all the photos and tweets from other Fitfluential bloggers the night before and it seemed very informational!
Founder Golden Harper greeted us at the tent and was more than happy to give the clinic a second time. I learned SO much during this clinic, and the best way to deliver this information to you is in a Q & A format. But of course, if you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to send me a comment below or an email. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll gather that information from a representative at Altra.
Q & A
1. What is proper running technique?
Altra Zero Drop Footwear allows for better running technique, because of the zero drop. Good technique is very important when running any distance, because it allows you to run with increased efficiency, reduced fatigue and less risk of injury. Here are four main ways to ensure proper technique while running.
- Balanced forward posture. Straighten your body, but don’t bend at the waist. Slightly lean from the ankles and move your chest forward with the shoulders back and relaxed.
- Compact arm swing. Elbows should not extend in front of the waist (except for sprinting). Pump back and recover forward without swaying from side to side.
- Land on a bent knee. Avoid keel striking and keep the knees bent and feet relaxed.
- 180 cadence. Cadence is how many steps per minute you take. Try to aim for approximately 180 steps per minute.
2. How is Altra is different from a traditional running shoe?
Zero drop footwear has been built on a 1-1 ratio. The heel and forefoot are the same heights off the ground. *I know that my current sneakers have an almost 2 inch height difference between the heel and the toe.
The shoes also have a larger toe box. This gives more run for your toes to naturally spread while your run, which allows your feet to relax.
3. Can I alternate between Altras and my current running shoe?
Yes. It’s actually highly recommended that you do for a few weeks starting with your easy runs. Once your lower leg muscles and feet become accustomed to the natural loading effect of Zero Drop shoes, you can run all you want in your Altras.
After the clinic was completed, we were able to pick out a pair of Altras to take home! Thank you to the very generous people over at Altra for treating us so well. I picked out the Intuition 1.5. I haven’t been able to go for a run with these shoes yet, but when I do I plan to do a full review. They sure are comfy though! I put these on right after leaving the clinic and they felt amazing after running a 10K. I love how the toe box on these shoes are a bit wider than normal running shoes. This will allow my toes to spread out instead of being crunched when I run.
To purchase a pair of Altra Zero Drop shoes for yourself, go to the website’s store locator.
FTC: Altra Zero Drop provided me a complimentary pair of Altras. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever tried running in a “zero drop” running shoe before?
- Although these aren’t barefoot running shoes, have you tried running in barefoot shoes?
- What color are your running shoes?
|October 17th, 2012||Gear, Races, Running|
Yesterday after work I went to Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods for shopping a a little shopping trip. It wasn’t a large shopping trip, but I had a blast anyway. First I had to stop by Target and return a bridesmaid dress that didn’t fit me for my friend Lauren’s wedding. I purchased two sizes online and had to return the one that didn’t look as great.
After getting my money refunded, I of course had to spend it again. I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get a running hat for Saturday. The weather originally said it would rain (now the percentage went down a bit), so I needed a hat that would keep my head dry! At this point if it rains or not, I’m still going to wear it because it’s so cute.
It’s actually from a Storm-Fit hat from the Nike Golf line.
- According to the tag, Storm-Fit “helps resist water to keep you drier and more comfortable in moderate weather conditions.”
- 100% polyester
- Waterproof and windproof
Even though I’ve worked in marketing and I know that stores place items directly next to the register to get a last minute sale, I still get trapped into it! I’m a marketers dream. When I was checking out, I saw a few shelves of sport chews/GUs etc. I used to eat the Clif Bar Shot Blox last year when I started running, but I wasn’t a huge fan. This time around I went for something I knew I’d most definitely enjoy. Sport jelly beans!
Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans
- Contains vitamins B, C, electrolytes, and caffeine
- Each serving contains 50mg of caffeine (about the amount in 1/2 a cup of coffee)
- approximately $1.20 per package
Another item that I’ll be rocking on Saturday is my new pair of Pro Compression argyle marathon socks. Sometimes I think that if I wear them, I’ll be able to run a marathon one day. Here’s to hoping . The socks are in transit right now, but I should get them in the mail any day now. You all know how much I love Pro Compression socks!
Talk to Me
- If you are going to the Runner’s World events this weekend, what will you be wearing during your race?
- What’s your favorite type of fuel during runs?
- Do you have a favorite hat or wet weather gear?
|April 6th, 2012||Gear, Uncategorized|
I decided that instead of going for a run after work yesterday, fueling up with healthy food was more important. Bry and I headed over to the supermarket after I was done work to get some much needed items: kiwi, apples, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese doubles. There were other items thrown in our cart as well, but those items are always my favorite. I wrote on Twitter my plan for the night:
And that is exactly what I did!
First up was a quick and easy dinner: vegan “chicken” tenders,home-made sweet potato fries, and steamed broccoli.
Next up was a shower and some foam rolling to help my burning calves. Yes, I wore my Ugg slippers. I have no shame.
During my session with Mr. Foam Roller and some light stretching, I watched Deandre get booted off American Idol. Anyone else think this should have happened weeks ago?! I feel terrible saying this, but his voice sounded like nails on a chalkboard.
Personally, I am rooting for Hollie and Phillip. Hollie because she seems so down to earth and has an amazing voice well beyond her years. Phillip because I have a huge crush on him and when he sings my heart melts. Normal.
Common, look at that face!
Who are you rooting for on Idol this season?
How often do you use your foam roller?
|November 16th, 2011||Gear|
I’d say that I’m ready to brace the cold PA winters. Honestly, as much as I complain about how cold it gets here, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without the chilly, brisk weather. Now that I have embraced my love for running, I had to go out and purchase clothes to keep me dry and warm.
In my opinion, nothing is better than Under Armour. I recently bought the fitted mock long sleeve top & the compression pants; both from the cold gear collection. After complaining that my ears were freezing at the Race for Hope, Bry bought me the Under Armour headband. I just think he was tired of hearing me complain, but maybe he likes my ears without frostbite.
I have yet to run with the headband or the pants, because we’ve had a warm streak lately. 65 degrees in November? When we had snow on the ground for Halloween? Common’ mother nature, you’re awfully confusing. Get your act together! But honestly, who am I kidding? I’m sitting right now in my leopard print snuggie, and it’s not even that cold outside. To each his own, I guess.
As much as I love the winter months, fall will always be my favorite season. There’s something amazing about about how eerie it is outside and how the weather is just about to change. Plus, who actually likes dodging snow piles while running in the winter? I know I don’t!
Do you find it hard to run in colder weather?
What are some of your go-to clothing items for running in the cold?