Wright Sock Running II Socks Review

Do your feet get blisters at the thought of a run? Do long runs or hot weather cause an increase in blisters? If so, you MUST check out Wright Socks!! According to their website www.wrightsock.com, “WRIGHTSOCK™ Double Layer construction coupled with the most technically advanced fibers, delivers the blister protection that you need. WRIGHTSOCK™ Double Layer provides year round comfort and performance with no blisters- guaranteed.” And, wow, do they ever!! I was skeptical, who wouldn’t be… a sock with a no blisters guarantee? I was willing to give it a shot, what could it hurt.
After my last half marathon where I got a killer blister on a toe, that popped during the run, I went on a hunt for something more than body glide lubricants to help lessen or prevent blisters. A fellow runner mentioned Wright Socks, so, I checked them out. I received a pair of Running II socks to try out. The double layer at first appears awkward, but, when on your feet, you don’t even notice it. I live in Las Vegas, so temperatures have now hit triple digits, so when running, sweaty feet is a concern. I have worn these socks on various distances from 2-10 miles, for speed work, long runs, and even in high temps, they have been amazing. My feet do not feel sweaty when I take them off and to date, no blisters! I plan on stocking up on these socks! I believe I have found my race day socks, thank you Wright Sock for such a great product.
Try them out, and let me know (and them) what you think! If you are not a runner, they have socks for walkers, hikers, etc. Explore and try them out!
*Although I received this product for this review, the opinions are mine and not influenced by Wright Socks.

June 2-3 Pace Per Mile Race Report

Las Vegas/Southern Nevada Race Report:
In this week’s Las Vegas and Southern NV Race Report I feature races for June 2-3:

Terminal 3 Races, Las Vegas, NV:
Benefiting At-Risk Youth of Clark County, this race is held to open the new Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport and is run on the roadway system of Terminal 3. Online registration closes 5/30/12 at midnight, onsite registration is held until 6:30 am. There is a 10k: cost is $30, 5k: cost is $30 and a 1 mile: cost is $20. Races start at 7:00 am. Prizes for top 3 overall and 14 age groups for the 10k and 5k races. I will be at this event so find me and say hello!!

Amica 19.7 Race Series, Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, NV:
There are two days of events for this series. Onsite registration will be held Friday June 1, Saturday June 2, and Sunday June 3 (for the Sprint Triathlon only). On Saturday June 2 there is a Half Marathon: cost $60, 10k: cost $50 and Kids’ Run: cost $15. On Sunday June 3 there is a Sprint Triathlon: cost $100. The half marathon and 10k start at 6:30 am, Kids’ Run at 9:30 and the Sprint Tri at 6:30 am. Prizes for the Half, 10k, and Sprint Tri for top 3 overall and 13 different age groups.

Have fun this weekend, happy racing!!

Hey Running Mojo, where’d ya go?!

Well, I am sure you have all figured it out, as I have gotten a little quiet on here and twitter. Recently, I feel as if I lost my running mojo. I still love running, just struggle to get myself out there to do it. I still make speed workouts every week, but, in general, I have slowed down considerably in my weekly mileage, and even in my workouts. Honestly, I just feel exhausted and unfocused all around.

Let’s be honest, until the end of April, my life has been a whirlwind of go-go-go. I was training for my first half marathon in January (have completed 3 to date), graduated with my masters, began studying for a certification exam that I took April 28th, prepared for a belated wedding reception in PA, was the social media co-chair for the Race for the Cure, all while working full time. After the race on May 5th, I honestly ran out of things to do on my schedule, well, big things. I wasn’t training for anything, wasn’t studying for anything, wasn’t attending meetings at night… nothing. I could honestly come home from work, and sit. I cannot remember the last time I could do that. I would be lying if I said that isn’t exactly what I’ve been doing. Perhaps my body is finally realizing it can sit still… and is running with that option, literally sucking my energy out of my body. I have been eating healthy, so it’s not a sudden depletion of energy due to filling it with crap.

This past week, this has been a struggle for me. I went to the speed workout, and killed it on mile repeats, but other than that, didn’t do anything this week. Physically, I am pretty sure it is what my body needs, but mentally, not doing anything, has been hard. I feel lazy and unmotivated. I feel like a slacker. I can’t seem to synchronize my body’s feeling with my brain’s thinking. They seem to be at opposite ends, and this isn’t doing my mind or body any good. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that this doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I don’t have to be going all out to be happy or feel as if I am doing something. Is there a happy middle ground? Can I find it??

I think part of the other problem is, I briefly became a part of a running team. While I enjoyed the thought of the camaraderie and support, it became more of a focus on fulfilling the goals of a few vs focusing on individual goals. For a brief moment, I lost my goals… and I seem to be struggling to relocate them. Perhaps, I was able to to lose them, because I really didn’t have any set goals at this point in regards to running. I wanted to run a half marathon. Then, I wanted to run 3 in 90 days to become a half fanatic. I have accomplished those goals. Now what? And the bigger question, can I run with no clear goal to focus on? Run to just run, because I love it? I love running, how my body feels, how it clears my mind… but, I think that since I started running, I have always had a goal, perhaps out of fear of stopping or getting lazy without one. Is this what I need? To see where the road takes me, no goals for a bit?

Or, to trick my mind, does that need to be my goal, run to enjoy the run. I’ve heard that saying a lot lately as I wrestle with my lack of energy and focus. Enjoy the run. Oddly, my third half marathon, Rockin Rabbit… I truly enjoyed. I was tired going into this one, having done a lot of training and running another half 3 weeks earlier, so I didn’t go into it with a plan to PR, but, to finish and enjoy it. It was a paved trail run (mostly) and near Lake Mead, the scenery was beautiful. This wasn’t my best race, I got a blister, my achilles was sore, I was tired… but, I truly enjoyed this run. I enjoyed the view, took a few pics along the way, talked with some people. I didn’t PR and the last 3 miles I ran with a popped blister, but I finished and loved that race.

I spent this past weekend resting, initially I felt like an unmotivated slug, annoyed that I couldn’t get myself to be active… really. I’ve come this far in my journey to become healthy… and here I sit on the couch with a book. That’s the best I can do? And then, it hit me… that, for that moment, this is the best I could do. It’s called self-care. That thing we all sometimes forget. I know I do. I go and go and go… and then collapse. Not effective by any means. The more I thought about it, the more I realized…. this is it. The root of my issues…. balance and self-care. I gained weight and got lazy because I didn’t think I had the time or ability to “do it right” when it came to getting healthy. I couldn’t ever 100% commit to anything, whether it was weight watchers, walking, the gym… anything. After awhile, I stop progressing. I slide back into old ways…. I think right when the true change is within grasp, that opportunity to really become something new and exciting, to accomplish something big… I back away. Better to not try than try and fail? I think I have known this… but never fully admitted it. I can list off my accomplishments this past year and a half, but, can list what I didn’t do, where I failed, what I could have done better. So, what comes next? Why, have I been unable to continue to lose weight? Why have I suddenly lost all desire/energy/urge to be active? What gives?!

I have finally, finally verbalized what’s behind this… what my issues are. It’s fear. Now what? How do I push through this and get myself active again, lose the rest of the weight, and rekindle that super happy awesome feeling?  This quote Monday from RW really hit home for me….

Training for a race is sort of like a metaphor for life—it shows you how important goals are, it shows you how much you are capable of, it shows you the power of dedication. I’ve never run 13.1 miles, but I know I can do it. I will do it. ~Ashley Cadaret

I wrote most of this Sunday night and Monday… dealt with a long day at work Monday night, some personal issues I’ve been wrestling with… so, even after my friend canceled the run scheduled (this is always a good excuse for me to not go) I made myself walk out the door for a run. It helped that right after work I changed into my run clothes, so I was ready to go. I did a short run, 2.2 miles, and it wasn’t a good run at all. But, it was a run. It was hot, I was blah… but, I kept going. My mantra was dig deeper, you got this. It worked. I am so proud of myself, you would think I just ran a marathon. It’s the little things, right? It may be slow, but I think things will come together again, I have a great support system, I should really lean on them. Tomorrow is speed work. I will enjoy that, as I always do.

Have any of you been in this frame of mind or had this struggle? What worked for you? Any thoughts, suggestions, motivations?  Send ’em my way!!

May 15 Pace Per Mile Report

Las Vegas/Southern Nevada Race Report:
In this week’s Las Vegas and Southern NV Race Report I feature the end of May races:

Runnin’ For The House 5k and 1 miler, Las Vegas, NV:
Benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Las Vegas this event features a timed and untimed 5k and 1 mile walk followed by a pancake breakfast, family festival and kids activities. The races start at 7:00 AM and the Pancake Breakfast and events start at 7:30 AM. Costs are $25 for adults, $20 for children and seniors, and $20 for teams with 10 or more members. There is a slight increase in costs for registrations on the day of the race.  Prizes are awarded for: Top 3 Male and Female overall and Top 3 M/F Age Groups. Online registration, course details and other information available on their website.

11th Annual Come Run in the Sun 10k and 1 mile, Las Vegas, NV:
Hosted by Las Vegas Running Team and sponsored by Findlay Chevrolet, Sudden Impact Auto Body and Collision Center, Road ID, Nike Town, Outback Steakhouse, Runner’s World and Smith’s Food Store. This race starts at 7:00 AM and all participants will receive a race t-shirt. Costs for this event are $28 for the 10k and $13 for the 1 miler with prices increasing slightly after May 19th. Las Vegas Running Team will award prizes for Top 3 Male and Female overall and Top 3 M/F Age Groups and Top 3 Clydesdale and Philly groups. Online registration, course details and other information available on their website.

Ride The Wind 100 mi/50 mi/20 mi, Red Rock Canyon, NV
This event is hosted by Elemental Running and is in the scenic Red Rock Canyon at Cottonwood Valley Trails. Participants registered by 5/20/12 are guaranteed to receive a tech t-shirt. All finishers will receive a coin and special belt buckles will be given to those that finish the 100 miler in under 33 hours and under 24 hours. Costs for this event are $150 for the 100 miler, $100 for the 50 miler, and $65 for the 20 miler until May 24, 2012. If the race has not sold out, they will allow race day registrations.  Online registration, course details and other information available on their website.

Me? Motivating and Inspiring?!

Lately, I have really been reminded of how fluid life and relationships are. My journey, if we want to call it that, started a little over 1 year ago. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, to use a very common phrase. I chose to start a Couch to 5k program and then started to change how I ate. My goal was to lose weight and feel better. My hope was to succeed. I would say, I have achieved that. I have run numerous races, lost 50 lbs, and feel healthier than I have ever felt. Success.

But… in that process, goals have evolved, as has my focus and journey. If you would have told me two years ago that I would be a positive influence, inspiration and motivator to others trying to make changes, I would have called you crazy. Some days, I still would call you crazy. But, sure enough I share my story here on this blog, the good, bad and indifferent. I have followers on Twitter and Facebook that reach out to me regularly enjoying my stories, telling me that I have inspired or motivated them to take that first step. This humbles me every single time. I often do not feel like I am that great at any of this, but, to know that my experiences, desires and journey have influenced others in a positive manner, that brings me happiness.

The past few months have been no different. I have been granted such amazing opportunities to further my goals.

  • I became a member of FitFluential and was later accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador. The amount of knowledge, encouragement, love and so on that this group of people provides is overwhelming and amazing. You should definitely check them out (and join). http://bit.ly/fitfluential
  • I was accepted as a 13.1 Marathon Series blogger. I will regularly be posting blogs on this site to help motivate and inspire people on that platform.
  • I was accepted to be a State Reporter for Pace Per Mile Endurance Radio. Be on the lookout for my first post this week. Although I have never been a fan of my voice recorded, this is a great experience to touch hundreds of thousands of people to inform them of the race scene in my area. 
  • I am working towards my goals of becoming a RRCA Certified Run Coach and Certified Personal Trainer. 
  • I am gaining friends in the running/racing community and love it!! What a great group of people!!
  • I became a Half Fanatic!! I am number 2166 to be exact. I achieved this by running 3 half marathons within 70 days. 
  • Most importantly, I have gained health, energy, and a renewed love of life.

I realize that although I was the person responsible for making these changes, it was with all the love and support from you, that I have gotten here. So thank you… and pay that inspiration forward!

Product Review: NeoCell Collagen Sport Protein Powder

When I began increasing my training and workouts to improve my fitness levels and running, I was struggling to properly recover nutritionally after tough workouts. I would eat some foods with protein in them, but never really had a strong focus on recovery. The more I read about its importance, the more I tried to find what worked for me.
I have tried numerous protein bars, protein powders, you name it. Most have upset my stomach in some way, bloating, cramping, etc. I was very leery of trying any more protein supplements.  A friend, coach and fellow blogger suggested I try NeoCell Collagen Sport protein powder.  She as well was having digestive issues with most protein supplements, and found this one to be helpful. After hearing her rave about it, I thought, let’s give it a try, worst that could happen, I not like it.
I tried the French Vanilla flavor although it also comes in Belgian Chocolate. I wanted the milder flavor so that I could play around with my mixers. From day one, I was in love. The taste was mild and it blends very easily, no clumps or separation (also blends well if you aren’t near a blender). I would mix mine with an almond/coconut milk blend, berries or peaches and for a little extra protein, would throw in a tablespoon of almond butter (if needed). It was filling, yummy, and within the first week, I was noticing a difference in my muscle recovery times. With this product having a collagen component, I also noticed added benefits: my skin was looking and feeling better! And, living in Las Vegas, where the water and weather are not kind to your skin, this was great! Who doesn’t love bonus benefits??
For those that are gluten intolerant or choosing not to eat gluten, great news… this product is gluten free. Overall, a great source of protein (30 grams), branch chain amino acids and a vitamin blend as well. From their website:
For more information please visit: http://www.neocellsport.com/product.php
All in all, NeoCell Collagen Sport Protein Powder gets TWO THUMBS UP! I love it and will continue to use this for post-workout recovery!
*Although I received this product for this review, the opinions are mine and not influenced by NeoCell.

A Weekend of Inspiration

For the past two years, since our local affiliate added a social media committee, my friend Karen and I have been the social media co-chairs for the Komen Southern Nevada Race for the Cure. I actually started volunteering for them when I first moved to Las Vegas. I wasn’t working, and needed to do something and meet people. It was probably one of the best things I have done for myself. Thankfully, our local affiliate is filled with amazing people. Our Race Day committee is AMAZING! Every year, I am proud to be a part of such a magnificent event.
As the social media committee, we actually work year round. We update the twitter and facebook accounts, and have since added other things such as pinterest, foursquare and will continue to grow. On race day, we joke that we log way more miles than the 3 everyone else is there to run. By the awards ceremony, we were over 5 miles. We had over 1,000 pics between the two of us, that we are STILL sorting through, and, amazing memories.
We are lucky enough to get up on stage before the race starts. I took pics this year of the street before it filled up, and as it was filling (we are working on an amazing timeline clip). To be standing there before the starting gun and watch over 10,000 people standing in that street, unified for the same reason… to say it is overwhelming is an understatement. It is truly moving and breathtaking. Every year, it brings tears to my eyes. To see the survivors, hear their stories…. Truly moving.
This year, I got a chance to meet my inspiration. I saw her last year, and didn’t get a chance to talk to her. Her name is Mary. She is a 17 year breast cancer survivor from Alaska. She runs the race in Vegas every year. She runs it in around 32 minutes (give or take), she is 75 years old. Yes, 75. She started running more when she was diagnosed. I told her how inspiring I thought she was. She chatted with me about recently being snowed in up in Alaska and how she had to get chiseled out so she could go on a cruise (where she also ran a 5k on the deck). She graciously posed for a pic with me, and, smiled from ear to ear when the Chippendales gave her her award for Masters Division. Yes, the Chippendales give the awards…. we are Vegas after all! 
Here we are…. 
 And, since I mentioned them, this year’s Chippendales giving awards!
But, seeing her, talking with her, made something click in my head. I realized my funk lately is because I have been unfocused, and my goals are all over the place, and I found myself asking myself why I run. I know why I started, but, why am I still doing it, what do I want to accomplish with it? So, the rest of the weekend was spent finally resting, deep in thought, curled up with two great dogs.(Oh, and I did a 5 mile run).
Up next…. Refocusing and Reaffirming Goals…