Saturday, February 26, 2011

RaceCenter Expo and Product Review: The Stick

Attended my very first RaceCenter expo today!  First we went for a group run with Foot Traffic University and then the expo was held at the Foot Traffic NE store.  Lots of races were represented - a little overwhelming for us newbies but we found a few great deals and registered for a couple of races!!!!  Eeek!!!

Yes, that's a new face with us!  Our friend, Gretchen joined us for the group run!

This is an annual event so if you missed it this year be sure to attend next year!

Product Review:  The Stick
 After we all had a great time testing out "The Stick" I decided that I definitely needed one so purchased their 24" version (called The Body Stick) and brought it home.  Although you do need a couple of helping hands to get your back rolled (see below for recommended usage), it works GREAT on tight calves and hamstrings.  Keep in mind, The Stick is made of hard pvc-type pegs stacked onto a non-flexible stick with a handle on either end.  This is made for deep pressure, so primarily to be used with mid to larger sized muscles.  Running it up and down my sensitive shins brought a shiver to my spine.  Digging deep into my hamstring brought that weird kind of GOOD pain.  The size makes it nice to tuck into my duffel bag and always have on hand.  There are a few different sizes with varying degrees of flexibility.  Do some research before purchasing one, but do buy one and keep it around - you'll find yourself using it more than you think you will.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Product Review: Camelbak Bottle

The day that I noticed our Camelbak water bottles matched our running outfits 
MAY have been the first time I was called a "Fastanista"....

Seriously, we LOVE these bottles.  They are large enough to hold a liter of water and made of a durable hard plastic.  The inside is taste and stain resistant so even after being filled with Nuun it's simple to throw them into the dishwasher (top shelf) and they come out clean as can be. The bite tube is a nice way to ensure they don't leak and to control how quickly you drink (sometimes after a run you want to guzzle and that's never good!).  The bite section and the tubes are both replaceable (although a little expensive) but the bottles themselves seem to last a LONG time and are very durable.  I love the little loop at the top that you're able to slip a finger through and carry the bottle easily even when you have hands full of other things.  Even is great when running on the treadmill! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Fanconi Anemia 5K Run - February 13, 2011 - Race Recap

Race Review:  Valentine Fanconi Anemia 5K Run

The Fanconi Anemia 5K race takes place on the waterfront in Portland, Oregon but feels like a smalltown gathering.  We met under one of the bridge overpasses and saw tables of homemade cinnamon rolls, chopped up bananas and lots of water waiting for us to finish our run!  The bib pickup happened at the race start and was a smooth process.  I had pre-purchased a pullover hoodie that fit well and was an awesome purple color.  Since it was a cold and rainy morning I knew that would be much appreciated after the run!  :)

The course is a nice and flat out and back - as you can see, right along the river.  Lots of pedestrians surprised to see a race happening stepped out of the way and cheered as we ran by.  Lots of supporters (like our co-workers shown below) had easy access to prime viewing spots.

Stowe and Jane came out to cheer Katie and I on!

What Not to Wear:
Okay... so it seemed like a good idea at the time?  I'm going to say fashion fail for the capris with the argyle socks (these were just cheap knee-hi socks, not compression socks).  As you can see in this photo, by the end of the race the socks were beginning to sag which led to the just below the knee peek of my very white skin.  :P

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quick Tip: Headband OVER your hat!

Quick Tip: Headband OVER your hat!

Check me out (I'm in the middle) - rocking the headband OVER the hat look.

I actually stole this idea from a good friend (Renee) who showed up to a run wearing her headband over her hat.  I tried it the next time I ran.  Was it comfortable?  YES!  Did it keep my ears warm? YES!  Did my hat stay in place?  YES!  Is it the most fashionable look? ummmm.... well, not exactly... especially not when your hat is white and headband is black.  But this photo shows exactly how to rock the look - put your hat on first, slide headband over it and you're ready to go.  Quick tip. :)

PS - we're at a LRR (Local Running Retailer) for a group run.  These are a great way to meet other runners, get in some miles with company and see all the great new products available!  Some offer raffles, free beers, discounts, etc.  This was actually the first day of our 1/2 marathon training program, which we paid to participate in, but the stores also have lots of free group runs!