Exciting CLIF Chat With the Pros and PRIZES

Hey Runner Friends, guess what?! My friends over at Clif have put together a cool live Facebook Q & A chat with professional runners Scott Jurek and Ellie Greenwood. If you’re an ultra runner, yes, THE Scott and Ellie of trail fame. Both are wold champions and indomitable trail running forces.

The event will be Wednesday, April 30th at 12pm ET or 9 am PT. It’s open to everyone, runners of all distances and levels, all you need is a question!

clif bar chat

In addition to having questions answered, Clif will be doling out prizes [info provided by Clif]:

* One winner will receive a 30-minute 1:1 consultation with Scott Jurek to discuss how to prepare before, during and after race day. Scott will choose his favorite question at the end of the Q&A.

* Several lucky participants who ask questions during the Q&A will receive a CLIF SHOT Toolkit featuring CLIF SHOT products, gear for training and race day and CLIF’s marathon training and nutrition guide.

So put your thinking caps on and start brainstorming which questions YOU’D like answered. I’m giving you the chance to get a head-start even!

Leave in the comment sections here what question YOU would like answered and plan to submit at the event. And if you do Clif will send you out a CLIF SHOT Toolkit packed with goodies: products, training and nutrition guide, and run gear.

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Clif kindly sent me their invitation and gave me free reign to bring along as many other awesome runners as I wanted. Info and toolkits supplied by them but opinions are all mine, and I don’t share anything on my site unless I feel it cool and worth sharing! :)
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Ezzere Launch Party Runner Night

All you AWESOME runners better save the date and make your way to Cali cuz THIS is going down…the Ezzere Launch Party and Runner Night!!

ezzere launch party runner night
Do you have your excited face on? Good. Here are some more det’s:

My AMAZING friends at US Cryotherapy are opening up their doors for this runner posse. Haven’t ever tried this subzero temperature recovery treatment? Now’s your chance to come in and try the local treatment. Read all about their benefits for injury prevention, faster recovery after workouts, and injury treatments HERE.

Nuun Hydration is also taking part in helping sponsor the event too! They will be keeping all us runners hydrated up right as we party down with their NEW Nuun Active Hydration Drink. We already love their current drink line, this latest formula has those same essential electrolytes but now packed with extra B Vitamins and Caffeine. Still less than 12 calories and sans extra sugar though!

GU Energy also knows how important it is to fuel runners right and they’re going to be brining their fine selves and those awesome packs of Pure Performance energy to the party!

Not sure of the perfect place to put that hydrating drink or energy gel?? Well never fear, Hydrapak is coming to this Ezzere Launch Party Runner Night too and offering up some of their SoftFlasks to a few lucky runners in attendance! These SoftFlasks are well, soft (duh), and flexible meaning you can easily squeeze them on the run and get your energy gel or drink much better than the hard shell variety of flasks.

PRIZES!! Yes, let’s be honest everyone loves some good prizes and SWAG, right? The first 50 people will be gifted AT THE DOOR with one of Nunn’s new Active Hydration Drink Vial. The raffle will include a KICK@$$ Ezzere Running Tee, a Nuun Sample Pack, a GU sample pack, SoftFlasks from Hydrapak, AND a whopping $200 valued US Cryotherapy gift pack that includes: a 5-Pack Cryo Chamber/Localized punch card, US Cryo tee-shirt, water-bottle, and pen.

Excited smile getting bigger? Come as you are, Runnerchicks and Runnerdudes, there’s going to be a core exercise and injury prevention tips demonstration lead by moi and everyone there will be able to get arty and create their own motivational artboard.

Support a runner in Africa and bring a pair of your old running shoes, please don’t make them too dead, at least 100 more miles on them and make a donation to the shoe pile. :)

If you’re not in the local Roseville, CA area…I’m sorry, but I’ll be sure to take loads of pictures and you can STILL get your Ezzere Runner Tee, US Cryotherapy, and Nuun Hydration love at the respective sites. :)

Any more questions about the event send me an email: cait@caitchock.com

Until manana…keep running!

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Oh and THIS Friday there’s also a party, I know it’s getting full on club in this blog, there will be the #CoreandCake Party, check out that info HERE!!
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1) What do YOU consider a fun party, event, thing to do?
2) What’s the best prize you’ve ever won? Are you pretty lucky?
I never win any raffle or giveaways…haha.
3) What’s you’re favorite Ezzere shirt?
4) Have you ever tried US Cryo?
Yup…you can see that HERE. :P
5) Have you tried Nuun? What’s your favorite flavor.
Wildberry. :)

Protect That Runner Noggin: Ambler Heat Beanies Give-away

Every runner head is pretty stinking awesome. The cranium, the noggin, the noodle; while our legs do most of the PHYSICAL work the mentality of a runner defines how well he or she will actually preform.
your brain on running
A runner’s head can be their greatest asset or wind up turing into their greatest obstacle. That’s taking this head metaphor to a deeper level and you can school up on how to train your actual runner brain HERE, HERE, and HERE. Today’s post is going to be about the superficial head…so pull out your best ‘shallow’ model stereotype.

It sure is starting to feel a lot like Festivus and the winter weather generally leaves me curled up fetal position and talking myself up saying that it really isn’t THAT cold. Layers, Baby, layers and the parts of a runner that are most apt to chill over the quickest if not protected properly are the hands, feet, ears and face. It’s important to have weather-prudent gloves and socks but what about that noodle?

I don’t live in a state where snow is the norm, and what I call freezing is actually the ‘technical’ freezing point, not like you crazy Duluthians where 32 degrees would be downright balmy! So I don’t usually wear a hat for my runs but I know that it is ubber important for runners to protect their head and ears when out in the elements. Flashback fact from grammar school: you lose most of your body heat through the head.

Ambler, a family run business, got in touch with me about their Heat Beanies. Being that I’m doing my own little running shirts lineby my lonesome I’m more than happy to support the ‘little’ guys so to speak! :) Ambler’s mission is: ‘To make quality hats. We create fit, function and design with everyone in mind.’
ambler hat
They’ve got a few different varieties and they’ve fused fashion and function to corner the exerciser niche with their Heat Beanies. I was sporting the Orbit, my favorite color is lime green, and here are my thoughts:

* Fit: It’s a beanie which is nice because I’m pretty picky about ‘feeling’ anything when I run. As in if my gloves/watch/hair tie/hat/etc. are loose it bugs the CRAP out of me the whole way. So I would prefer the beanie style over a typical hat, just because it can get tight on there and stay put.

* Material: The beanies are made of a polyester microfiber with the lining around the headband made of fleece. It’s light and the lining provides more warmth to the ears, which usually chill over the fastest. It’s really light and overall pretty thin, it’s more than warm enough for me and while I haven’t take it out in actual super below-freezing temps or in the snow I’ll note that Ambler is situated in the Canadian Rockies so I’ll go out on a limb and say with the technical material it would trap heat in there and provide the warmth one needs without all that bulk. I would hate trucking around any excess material and bulk.

* Overall: I like the Heat Beanies and usually I’m pretty good at ‘sucking it up’ in terms of weather when it comes to a run (of course I dress appropriately to make it bearable!); but in all other areas of life I’m the biggest wuss, so I’m sure I could put these babies to use there as well.

Now the fun part for you guys, Ambler was kind enough to send one for me AND one to give away to a lucky reader. To enter leave a separate comment below for the following:

1) Visit Ambler’s website and tell me which of their hats you like the best.
2) Like me on Facebook.
3) Tweet, Facebook, or blog about the contest.

The giveaway will be open until Saturday, December 1st!

Protect that precious cranium, runner posse, because ensuring the superficial and gear aspect is covered allows you to focus on the HARD stuff. That being the physical right, left, right as well as taming the MIND which, if you’re not careful, can stage a revolt and make you slower than you’d like. ;)

best running shirts

Vive la Runnerchick

I live the life of a runnerchick. Why? Because it’s just better that way.

vive la runnerchick

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The awesome Britt @ Chicago Runner Girl is hosting a give-away to win one of my shirts…so if you don’t already have one and feeling lucky head on over there!

The WINNER for the Injinji toe socks give-away is: Audrey Dawkins, so drop me an email: captaincait@hotmail.com and we’ll get you hooked up!
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1) What’s one reason the life of a runner is the best life?
We’re just so much cooler…nice, blanket statement there, right? ;)

2) If you could pick one place you’d love to run in/at where would it be? If you’ve already found your favorite running spot, call it out!

3) Friday, some big NCAA action underway, and tons of other races going on…are you planning to race? Feel free to school up on on racing tips HERE and HERE! :)

run your fortune badge

Run Your Fortune Shirts

get chicking

Get Chicking Shirts

 

 

The Blister Atop My Runner Toe: Getting the RIGHT socks and shoes to spare your feet extra suffering (Injinji Giveaway)

Let’s talk runner feet. Don’t worry, by now you’ve realized I’m more of the art visuals and will spare you any actual photographs because runner feet tend to be gnarly feet! To be honest though, it’s almost like a little badge of honor…how gnarly can you go?

runner foot

20% Off Your Next Shoe Order if You’re Blister Free! Jk. :P


Runners put a beating to those ten little piggies and if a couple toe nails go, we’ll cite it as collateral damage. Blisters? That’s what extra race-bib safety pins are for, right? We do all we can to avoid blisters and whacked out toe nails but even that will only take you so far.

For blisters though, the right socks and the right sized shoes make a WORLD of difference. Actually the shoe sized issue can account for an appalling number of runner woes; and often times newer runners are unintentionally setting themselves up for far more torture than running alone is, just because their shoes are too small. Or they lace their shoes too tight.

Quick tips for shoe sizing: you want to have a thumb’s width between the tip of the shoe and your longest toe. (Ohh, is that your second one, or Big Mama toe? lol.) Also, your feet swell when you run, so make sure you are trying them on later in the day when your feet have expanded.

For blisters, that rests highly upon the kind of socks you are running in. Blisters are caused by heat and friction; the more rubbing, the more heat and the more chances you’ll get blisters if all of that rubbing is done between the sock and your foot. Moisture build-up also can result in blisters…umm, we are heading into winter and I’m pretty sure that drippy stuff is wet.

That’s why you want a technical material for those socks. Just like with tech material running shirts and other apparel, this will wick away excess moisture, be breathable to air those puppies out AND certain socks are with dual layer technology. That last one is just fancy talk for their being two thin layers in the sock; so all that that rubbing is done BETWEEN the layers of the sock rather than letting that friction occur between the sock and your foot.

So yay for socks and the right sized shoes, right? Well, it’s also getting colder this time of year (unless you’re a southern hemi-reader!) and I don’t know about you but I’m a weather wimp and can’t say I enjoy heading out when I know I’ll be seeing my breath. Those extremities have to bite the bullet and keeping them warm is important and makes running more comfortable too.
Injinji toe socks
Source
Well, friends, the kind folks over at Injinji contacted me about these toe socks they’ve got going. Toe socks?! Yes, it’s okay, you know how I am not a fan of the Vibrams BUT socks aren’t going to mess up with your biomechanics so I was willing to check these guys out. Maybe even try to peel a banana with my feet? No, I didn’t, don’t worry.

The Det’s: Think gloves in the sock form. They are made with technical materials, CoolMax, Lycra and Nylon, to wick moisture and be breathable. There are rather thin and light-weight. I got the no-show kind but they offer other styles and even compression socks.

The Toe Feel: I will be honest, I am sort of weird and don’t like ‘feeling’ things on my feet, if that makes sense. I don’t like flip-flops because they bug me having that prong between my big toe. So I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about these; I will say that the longer I had them on the more I did get used to the extra material between my toes. But to be totally honest I could still feel it and given the choice I’d probably still stick with a normal styled sock, especially if I were out running when the last thing I want on my mind is something clothing or hair in my face related.

Warmth: I think the major draw for me would be a little extra warmth by way of sock; I’d venture to say that the casing around my toes probably helped keep them a little warmer. Not a huge amount, but then again I wouldn’t want a fat, thick sock out running anyways! I really do love the material on these guys and they do a good job of the moisture wicking.

Pilates/Trail/Yogi Peeps: A big thing for Injinji is the draw from trail runners and those doing things like yoga or pilates. For trail running you’re putting yourself out in more extreme environments and you want gear and socks that will keep you warm and dry. For yoga and other times you’d want to be able to have a firm grasp on one toe or specific ones, I could see these as being really great for that. I know there are some models that have grippers on the bottom, again, that would be a definite perk for yoga or mat work.

Overall: I respect the creativity of Injinji and can appreciate where they are coming from, their tech material is comfy and I like it. I think if you’re into trails and yoga stuff you should give them a shot. For me, personally, because of my weird detest for feeling anything on my feet, I can’t say I’d go running in them. Maybe just every-day sorts of things or if I were doing pilates.

Well, do you want to try some Injinji socks out yourself?! The kind folks didn’t just give me some pairs to test out but gave me some extra socks to giveaway too. Yay for you…so to enter leave a separate comment below for doing any of the following:

1) Tell me what you’d do with your feet if you could use them like hands. [ie: peel a banana]
2) Go to the Injinji website and tell me which is your favorite sock
3) Follow me on Twitter
4) Like me on Facebook

This giveaway will end on Wednesday!

With that my friends, I hope you’re having a wonderfully blister-free Friday!

To Tote or Not to Tote: Running with a water bottle…Clean Bottle Review and Giveaway

Seems like the hot topic of as late is hydration. You can revisit my post earlier in the week about hydration tips for runners and wouldn’t you know that when I popped on over to the Running Times website there was an article just posted about the very same thing. Great minds think alike, maybe? I’ll kid myself into believing that even if it’s not true…hehe.

friend running

That's Running Times and me running with the same great idea...it's a stretch but roll with that. :)


Their article got really scientific about the whole ‘weigh yourself pre and post-run’ and then take the percentage of sweat lost from your entire body weight and apply that to the amount lost…etc. I sometimes feel that getting too wrapped up in these calculations and conversions may be a little much; certainly more knowledge can be better but at what point is it just over complicating things? In the end the article sums up that even outside of the fanciest tests, scientific equations, lab results and simulations everyone is different and should get to know their body and how they react to certain stressors. Isn’t that pretty much across the board in anything, hydration and training alike?

Athletes, the longer they are at it, become incredibly attuned to subtle nuances that the ‘average person’ probably wouldn’t think twice of. The thing is, when you’re constantly asking your body to perform at it’s best, you can sense those small degrees of deviations from the norm. Feeling 10% off of your best may not mean much if the most physical thing you do all day is stroll around the block, but in the quest for a PR 10% in a HUGE difference. Just some food and drink for thought.

Back to running and hydration, I’m not someone who carries a water bottle with me. I never have and unless I embark on marathon distance-plus training I don’t really plan on doing so. I’m a less is more type of runner and get annoyed if my watch is too big and bulky. Everyone is different and I know my body, I can make it through my runs without needing water or gels…that’s just me.

swimmer

Taking hydration to an extreme.


But there are lots of runners who DO prefer to carry water and gels; there are the fanny-packs, the belts, and other similar contraptions. With today’s tech age I’m seeing runners taking their phones along like they are just as vital as the actual running shoes. Again, I’m a less is more person, but whatever floats your boat. It does make for some more interesting blog trolling as I can see the pictures other people post of them getting all sweaty with it. :)

I was contacted by a new company, Clean Bottle, who have come out with ‘The Runner’ and wanted me to share my thoughts on it. Even though I’m not a bottle-toter myself I’ll give my opinion on it to help runners who do carry hydration and other items on their runners.

The Runner Run-Down: Clean Bottle’s ‘The Runner’ is pretty neat in that it’s been able to combine a couple of different things in a smaller package. It’s a handheld water bottle with a mesh strap to hold onto; attached is a clear, pouch where you can slip in your phone or iPod in through a side zipper. There’s also a little cinch strap on the side that can hold some gels or other fuel. So it’s able hold quite a number of items that a fanny-pack would but it’s a lot less bulky.

Source
The Pro’s: Like I said it can hold a lot of things and it secures them safely. There are loops where you could fasten your keys into as well, even a pocket behind the phone/iPod holder to stuff some money or identification. The strap to hold onto while running is tight enough that it’s not slipping around, and as for a water bottle that’s pretty much self-explanatory. It gets the job done. I don’t usually run with a bottle but I do carry one around other places and I’d take this guy along with me just in everyday life.

The Con’s: Personally I just hate holding onto things when I’m running and a filled water bottle could be a pound or two, but I know you drink it down and it gets lighter. It’s also a little tough to manage your watch or Garmin if you’re taking splits or something; hitting a button while still clutching a tote can be a little tricky. Other than that though, I can’t really say anything bad about it. If I did take hydration on my runs I’d think this would be preferable to a fanny-pack just because I really can’t stand those.

The Company: Clean Bottle actually really impressed me on the whole and not just because of their products; I like the start-up stories and this is one of them. As to their Clean moniker there is a strong tie to being eco-friendly, for which all of their items are, and 10% of their sales go to an environmental related charity you can choose from. They are currently on the Kickstarter website and if you’d like to help support their burgeoning business check it out and support.

Clean Bottle also gave me one of ‘The Runner’ bottles to give away to a reader, so if you’d like to score one leave a separate comment for each of the following:

1) Follow Clean Bottle on Facebook or Twitter.
2) Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.
3) Tweet, blog about, or Facebook about the giveaway
4) Visit Clean Bottle’s Kickstarter fund and if you sponsor them leave two comments and get a double entry there.
5) Tell me, do you carry water, gels, your phone, etc on your runs?

Deadline will be next Tuesday!
:)

Until later, keep on sweating and swigging…water, that is. ;)
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I’ll Give You The Shirt Off My Back – Let’s talk running clothes and a Zensah giveaway

I’m really picky about my workout clothes. I’m the kind of person who will keep my favorite pair of shorts, shirts, sports bras, etc until they are so threadbare they are wisps that eventually float away into the wind and force me to buy new ones.
runner in forest
I don’t like things that are too loose, but they can’t be too baggy either, I hate long shorts (and my definition of long is still runner shorts style skewed…lol), I wish more running shorts had splits, I don’t like the skinny straps that slide around…you get the picture. I’m like the Goldilocks of running attire I suppose.

The right fit for running clothes is important though, the last thing you want on your mind during a race is, “Gosh darn-it these boy-cut racing shorts are riding and giving me a major wedgie!” The same goes for any other run. I actually hate the boy-cut trend, in my mind the bunhuggers are the way to go when it’s GO time on race day. But of course I’d only bring them out when I’m in good enough shape and I’m not going to embarrass myself out there. Tempo shorts are my everyday pick.

We’re finally getting some sun poking through which I’m happy to see, and it will soon be time to bust out the running tanks. I get hot quickly so tend to go the less is more route; even in winter it has to be BAD out for me to wear a jacket. It took me a long time to be comfortable enough to wear just a sports bra, but when the temperatures got to be over 110 degree I chose to don the bra over melting into a pile of goo with a shirt. ;) In the end I got over my mental hang up of thinking, “Are people going to think I’m trying to show off or that I think I’m the shiznit and in my mind think I’m so hot looking I should just wear a bra?” The truth is, that’s not how I feel but I can’t control what others will think of me. To be honest they probably don’t even care enough to think of me, it’s funny how in our minds we can unintentionally feel that they world revolves around us, when in reality nobody even notices such things.
running graffiti
Back to clothes though, I also admit to being more than a bit brand loyal, but every now and again a girl has to step outside of her comfort zone and try something new. I’ve been reading about Zensah and their new line of running and workout clothes, heard lots of good things, so I decided to check them out.

Zensah’s capitalized a lot on their compression sleeves and socks, they even have compression shorts and capris, but they do have tops and sports bras as well. I am a backer for compression attire, especially when used for recovery, but I wanted to get a feel for one of their tank tops.

I got the Racerback Tank, brace yourself for the sweaty monster:

zensah racerback tank

Post-workout stunner...I think the hair is in my finest hour. ;)


Pro’s: The material is uber-soft…I won’t lie, it’s something that I wanted to curl up and sleep with. The Racerback Tank only comes in two sizes: XS/S or M/L and because I hate that it seems all of the workout tops these days are cut really tiny or the material fits me like a cased sausage, I was afraid that the tank would be tight in the XS/S that I went with. I was happily surprised that it’s not sausage casing tight and the fit was nice and comfortable; I was able to breathe but it still wasn’t too loose that I was annoyed with extra fabric flapping around. I liked the cut on the top, it didn’t slide around at all and I even got to show off my major guns. ;)

Con’s: It’s a little longer than most running tanks, but that actually didn’t really bug me. To be quite frank the really only big con in my mind is the price. Did I mention I’m kind of a cheap-o (read as dirty poor runnerchick…hehe) and I cringe when I have to plunk down the necessary money for shoes even though I know how important they are! The Racerback Tank is $43 each, so I will keep mine locked away in a safety deposit box between uses. ;)

Overall: I’m a fan. There are four colors to choose from: black, purple, pink, and blue and if I could I’d get all of them if for no other reason than to be covered in that nice, soft material. (Triple points to anyone who thought of George Costanza wanting to drape himself in velvet.)

Here’s the fun part…the kind folks over at Zensah are going to give you an opportunity to win one of the Racerback Tanks yourself…yay! The contest in kind of unique in that it’s through Pinterest, so here’s the deal on how to enter:

1) Go check out Zensah’s Racerback Tank
2) Pin it to one of your boards
3) Send an email to: customer@zensah.com telling that you did the pin

Then you’re set. The fine folks at Zensah will then pick a winner and let you know if you’ve scored the lucky prize. ;)

Questions for you guys!

1) What kind of runner are you, do you keep the clothes that you love until they are worn into nothingness or do you continually love to shop and get new running clothes? Are you pretty picky when it comes to workout and running attire?

2) How about shorts, what’s your style? When it comes to racing do you don boy-cut shorts or bunhuggers?

3) Summer weather clothes, do you wear a sports bra?

4) Have you ever tried something from the Zensah line, if so, what and what did you think?

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Road Runner’s Safety: Road ID Review and Giveaway

I made the switch from “I hate running, who in their right mind would force us poor kids to run a WHOLE mile for PE?!” person to “I LOVE me my running” right before entering high school. I grew up in a suburban town and naturally all of my running was done on the roads.

My parents are both runners so I’d tag along with them whenever I wasn’t with my high school team; because I’m notoriously horrible with directions I think it wasn’t until I was nearly 18 that my parents actually felt comfortable letting me go solo lest I take off and never come back! ;)

I graduated, moved up to Oregon and my running addiction of course followed. I was completely comfortable as a road runner, probably too comfortable…let’s be honest who among us hasn’t raced through a green light because they didn’t want to stop, lest they impede their workout?! Of course I was a smart runner too and was well aware of road safety, which for the most part I DID adhere to.

runner hit by car

Art: Cait Chock Designs

11 years a road runner, never a problem outside of the scrapes I picked up for being a klutz! I stepped out for just a regular run one March afternoon in 2010 and it ended up changing my life. I was not a mile in, running in the bike lane just outside of a school, when I was hit by a driver. It ended up being a hit and run, you can read more about that accident HERE, but needless to say I was darn lucky to get away with my life. Not everyone is that lucky.

I’ve stated before that I only want to talk about products or items on this site that I believe in and feel are worth value to my readers. (I’m being generous to myself by making that plural! Hehe) When I started seeing Road ID I couldn’t have been a bigger backer. Today it’s imperative that runners and cyclists, anyone outside on the roads, continue their sport in a defensive manner. (run defensively people, because not everyone in their car should be driving and not all have their attention on the road!) Part of that includes being prepared for the worse.

I wasn’t left unconscious after getting hit by a car myself, but I could have been. Road ID is a safety measure; it’s a bracelet with an engraved plate stating who you are, your age, emergency contacts, and pertinent medical information. (ie: allergies, medical conditions, etc.) This way if something does happen to you the first people on the scene will be able to best proceed forward in giving you the right kind of care you need and can do all they can to save your life.

I was given the opportunity to test out one of the Road ID’s(I actually had already gotten one for my dad who is a regular road runner and cyclist!) and give a review. There are multiple different styles and sizes of Road ID’s to choose from; I have a really small wrist so I went with the Wrist ID slim. There are also some fun colors to choose from outside of the traditional black…pink, green, purple, blue, and red, which I went with.

Road ID

Yes I'm trying to distract you from looking at my face with a cool Road ID bracelet and tin! :)

Mine came in a cool metal tin and the bracelet really was small! For once I had to stretch it pretty good to get over my hand, but it’s perfect for my wrist…I usually have a horrible time finding watches that don’t slip all over. The Slim would be perfect for kids too.

The band is similar to those Livestrong bands and of the same materials if that gives you a better idea. The engraved portion is clear and easy to read, I put my name, date of birth, two contacts, that I have a low pulse rate (umm, most of us runners do!), no known allergies, and a quote I like to live by, “Stay the course.” What I also was impressed with it that 10% of everything purchased is donated to charity; for which there are a few to choose from as you check-out.

I really like it and again, the whole idea of safeguarding yourself as a runner out on the roads is something I firmly believe in. I may make light of my accident and subsequent kankle because of my leg injury (now we’ve got the Kankled Avenger) but it’s something serious. I tend to make jokes as a means to stay positive during tough situations, but it’s not to be confused with the fact that road safety is deadly serious.
girl kicking
Now, because of this, I have some good news for you guys. Road ID has generously allowed me to give to one lucky reader their very own Road ID! To be entered into the contest leave me a separate comment for any of the below:

1) Visit the Road ID website and tell me which one you would like to sport.
2) ‘Like’ the Road ID Facebook page and leave a comment saying you did.
3) ‘Like’ ME on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did.
4) Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment saying you did.
5) Tweet, Facebook, or blog about my giveaway and leave a comment saying you did.
6) Tell me one thing you do to run/cycle defensively on the road.

You have until Saturday to enter! Have a wonderful Monday, and go get your sweat on! :)

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Motivation and Self-Deception: Sometimes it’s a matter of talking yourself up or lying yourself into a run

Running and getting sweaty is tough business…it’s hard work to get out there and consistently kick your own tush. Don’t get me wrong it comes with plenty of rewards, (nothing can beat the feeling of shaking legs and a new PR and the perk of inhaling unholy amounts of sweets isn’t bad either!) but keeping pace with the motivation factor is an ongoing battle.

sunset runner

Hey, motivational pictures count too! :)

Sometimes you need to remind yourself WHY you are doing this and that in the end it’s worth it. This is where motivational quotes can really come in handy:

“An athlete who tells you the training is always easy and always fun simply hasn’t been there. Goals can be elusive which makes the difficult journey all the more rewarding.” – Alberto Salazar

“It is true that speed kills. In distance running, it kills anyone who does not have it.” – Brooks Johnson

“Just do it.” – Nike

“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.” – Paul Tergat

“One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.” – Bob Kennedy

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” – PattiSue Plumer

“We may train or peek for a certain race, but running is a lifetime sport.” – Alberto Salazar
own it
Mantras can also work wonders if you’re in the middle of a race or brutal interval session. They help you zone out…focus on the words, not the pain:

“Stay the course.”

“Smooth and relaxed.”

“I am strong.”

“I got this.”

“I’m better than them.”

“Think of Pop-Tarts.”

Other times though it’s more a matter of self-deception and straight up lying to yourself:

“Only five more minutes” – Reality check is you’ll say this about 6 or 8 times more, maybe more depending on how long the run/workout.

“It’s okay, I don’t really feel it today, I’ll just do a mile and see how I feel from there.” – Reality check usually after that initial mile of blah you get into the run and keep on rolling.

“Last one.” – Reality check, you might be saying this as early as your second repeat…it’s okay, keep lying and repeating.

“That really didn’t hurt THAT bad.” – Reality check…the race/run/workout probably did but you have to force yourself to block out just how bad it was to a degree so that you keep going back for more. I’ll liken it to a lady who just popped out a kid; I’m sure she has to forget how not fun that was in order to feel compelled to maybe have another. ;)

The truth is, running and being consistent takes a lot of motivation and in the end it has to come from within. Self-motivation and dedication isn’t something you can necessarily teach or force someone into…you either have it or you have to learn it yourself over time. Sometimes it takes quotes, mantras, and lies…but it gets the job done!

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The winner for the BIC Bands giveaway:
winner
So Dana, glad you found my blog, email me and I’ll get you your bands! :)
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1) What are some of the things that help you stay motivated either to get out for a run if you’re not exactly feeling it or in the middle of a tough run or race?

2) What are some of your favorite quotes or mantras?

3) What lies do you tell yourself?

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The Tri-Plate Sample of Running and the First Give-away

Today’s post is going to be like the sampler plate: we’ll give you a little of this and a little of that. First course will be some muffins…chocolate chip. Traditionally we’d start with a soup or salad, but I’m not a big fan of soup and having already had my veggies today let’s dive straight into doughy, beautiful carbs.

eating cake

Art credit: Cait Chock

I brought the topic of just how many numbers advanced gadgets/watches can give us, do runners really need up last week in talking about the FuelBand. If you head over to Competitor, I’ve got an article up, ‘Information Overload: Are Runners too Tech-Dependant,’ that talks about the stream of technology a little more and encompasses Garmins, heart rate monitors and the like. So my questions to you guys are, how many gadgets do you train with? How many numbers do you keep track of, be it paces, mileage to the hundredth, heart rates, etc.? (how many porta-potty stops! hehe) Then, how many do you think you actually need and how do you find the right balance of knowing enough to keep you headed in the right direction (give you the nudge to pick it up or slow it down when you need to) and then just getting too wrapped up in numbers overload.
shrimp
The second course will be a protein, I like shrimp the most and I like the word gumbo, so shrimp gumbo it is! This is brought to you by the wonderful world that is indoor track and some smoking elites that are set to toe the line this weekend in Boston for the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. I have to say I’ve got a little soft spot for Matt Centrowitz…I mean the guy was still in college and went on earn the Bronze in the 2011 World Champs, coming out as the top American for the 1500 meters. Beastly…just saying.

For those who don’t know he’s got a bit of a running legacy behind him and there’s a really great article HERE about him and his entire family…we’re talking multiple speedy runners. As for Matt this will be his first official race as a professional runner for Nike.

The rest of the races have a collection of American and World Record setters…too many to rattle off, so if you’re a track nerd or nerdette this weekend will be entertaining.

We’ve now moved onto a dessert for YOU guys! We opened with a sweet so we’ll end with warm, fat, gooey cinnamon rolls. We’re runners so we work hard and should eat just as hard. This is actually the first kind of giveaway that I’ve ever done on the site. I like to keep this a more informative kind of blog and don’t want to be in the position where I feel like I’m throwing overt advertisements or name/company drops…that said if I find something or have tips that I think are relevant or would benefit the readers I am going to share that.

The bottom line is that I’m always going to be completely honest in anything I say or share. Finally, unless I say otherwise I’m not being paid by anyone or sponsored…but if I am given some products to try or sample I’ll tell you. Plus, everyone does likes some schwag, right, so why not offer you guys some goodies??

On to that…well, I was given a couple BIC Bandsfrom the company to test out and see if they were able to hold my moppy mess in check in my full sweaty glory. I HATE messing with my hair when I’m working out or on a run. I always have these darn fly-aways getting in my face and it bugs me to the degree that I do envy GI Jane and her bald glory sometimes.

BIC Band

Ugly mess post-workout yes, but no fly-aways in my face.

I was afraid that it might be too tight, giving me a headache, or too loose and flopping around until I got so annoyed I ripped it off. But, it didn’t…I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t bug me at all and it kept my hair in check. I’m a fan.

Plus, for a girl who has no style genes what-so-ever it’s an easy way to try and pretend to the otherwise just a bit. I know it’s a charade, but they have sparkly ones, patterned, styles, and fun colors so maybe I can fool somebody.

They’ve got different widths, I like the super skinny ones the best for working out, but the wider ones have cool styles and would be something I’d don just going out…I mean workout clothes are totally normal things to walk around in all the time too, right?

I was also given some BIC Bands to give away to some lucky readers! The good news is there are about a whopping 5 of you, so the odds are stacked in your favor. ;) To enter leave a separate comment for any of the following:

1) Tell me how many gadgets you typically use for a run.
2) Be a fan of Cait Chock Designs on Facebook and let me know.
3) Follow me on Twitter or follow my blog and tell me.
4) Visit the BIC Bands site and tell me which one is your favorite.
5) Tweet, Facebook or talk about the give away on your blog.

There ya go, my fine friends…contest will end on Monday! I hope the tri-combo plate leave you satisfied for tonight!

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