Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Track (Treadmill) Tuesday

It's been a long time since I posted a Track Tuesday post. Looking back, I haven't done speedwork since the beginning of January. So much for following the Run Less, Run Faster program. Surprisingly, I'm feeling pretty confident and prepared for my first half in April. I honestly don't know the condition of the high school track, but even though we've had no snow, I'm sure the back straightaway is a mess. Maybe it's not and I'm making excuses. Excuses no more. That is why this edition has been renamed Treadmill Tuesday. 


I'm still getting used to running on the treadmill, but it is extremely convenient and a lot safer than the roads since it is still dark at my morning run time. Another plus, it is preparing me for the heat of summer because it is so hot running indoors! Oh, and I love being able to watch TV or movies on the Kindle Fire to help with the boredom or running in place for an hour. Glee is the best show for this. I don't run with music outside, but it almost necessary indoors.

Today's workout called for three 1600m repeats with a 400m rest intervals. This was easier to keep track of than a speed workout with shorter repeats on the 'mill. But seriously, why does the treadmill report in miles per hour? As runners we are concerned with pace, not speed. Are all treadmills like this? Seems like something so simple. I don't like to have to do math when I run. At least I only had one pace to convert...and that's what pace calculators are for. 

I started with a one mile warm up and then got to the 1600s. And hey, I hit 8:00 pace right on the nose for all three! ;-) I guess the treadmill is good for that too. You are forced to run at that pace unless you cheat by turning it down or jump off or slow down and slam into the wall behind you.

It felt good to run this morning after Sunday's 12.4-miler and a tough yoga class last night in which I thought I had tweaked a hammie and it felt good to shake it out. It was also my last day running in my Runniversary month. What a great month! Thanks to all that celebrated with me. It's not quite over yet, there's still one more day to enter my Tommie Copper giveaway!

Friday, February 24, 2012

I am Maine Mom on the Run {and a winner}

Okay, so that title makes it sound like I'm tooting my own horn.

First, I made the $10 plunge and bought the Maine Mom on the Run domain. I like it much better than having to add "blogspot" on the address. It's much easier to say and type out since the name is fairly lengthy in the first place. Anyone that followed me under the blogspot domain will still be redirected here, so no worries.

Second, I realized I had not announced the winner of my Yaktrax giveaway!!!!! A big thank to everyone who entered and to Yaktrax for allowing me to host. Out of 96 entries the Rafflecopter gods have chosen:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tommie Copper Review: Part Two

Did you read part one of my Tommie Copper review? It's here.

Founded by Tom Kallish after being dissatisfied by uncomfortable compression wear, Tommie Copper uses "multi-directional support and proprietary copper-infused yarn to provide relief from arthritis and other joint pains, promote muscle recovery and reduce inflammation all while being comfortable enough to be worn throughout the entire day." (FAQ)


While much research has been done to show that copper is essential to all of our body tissues by helping in the formation of red blood cells, as well as playing a role in protection from cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, free radicals and cancer, there have been few studies that prove that copper is actually absorbed through the skin. (Gainey) However, some have the perspective that the skin is a "more ancient system of nutrition. . . the skin can serve as a barrier or as an entry way into the organism, depending on the circumstances." (Scienta)

Before I completely bore you with medical facts I'll get to the review.

Calf sleeves:

My calves are where I can use the most compression and the Tommie Copper Calf Compression Sleeves fit the bill. Like the knee sleeves, the calf sleeves currently come in Black, Cobalt Blue, Olive Green, and Slate Gray in sizes Small through X-Large. The sizing is as follows:

Small - 10"-12" (top of calf circumference)
Medium - 12"-14"
Large - 14"-16"
X-Large - 16"-18"

I wear a medium and it is perfect. The top band is similar to the one in the knee sleeves where it is a separate elastic band sewn to the fabric of the sleeve, while the bottom is a folded cuff of the fabric. This band serves well to keep the sleeve in place while running and is very comfortable. My only complaint is the presence of a tag. The length is ideal and gives my full lower leg wonderful squeezy hugs. If you happened to catch my previous calf sleeve review from a different company, you would know that I have horrible varicose veins and am now addicted to my calf sleeves. I wear them 24/7. My legs are huge fans of the Tommie Copper calf sleeves!

Ankle sleeves:

Since I run in minimal-style shoes, occasionally my arches and ankles will feel strained. The ankle sleeves are just what I need to reduce the throbbing and give support while recovery is taking place. It's almost as good as a foot massage. I found them to be super comfortable and they don't even bother me while wearing shoes (I thought that they might).

Please excuse my ugly feet.

As with the knee and calf sleeves, the ankle sleeves are topped with a wide elastic band promoting Tommie Copper in orange letters.

Sizing:
Small - 9.5"-11.5" (heel to top of foot circumference)
Medium - 11.5"-13"
Large - 13"-14.5"
Extra Large - 14.5"-16.5"

In addition to the knee, calf, and ankle sleeves, Tommie Copper also offers compression wear for the elbow, as a shirt, and as fingerless or full fingered gloves. They are also releasing compression shorts in the end of March and you can bet I'll be getting a pair of those!!! You can find more information on all the Tommie Copper products and order online here.





Sources:

Frequently Asked Questions. Web. 28 Oct. 2011. <http://www.tommiecopper.com/faq>

Gainey, Andrea. An Objective View at Copper Bracelets: Do They Really Work? 2001. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://altmed.creighton.edu/copper/>

Medicinal Effects of Copper Braclets. Scienta Press. 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://www.scientiapress.com/findings/bracelets.htm>

Tommie Copper Review: Part One

And here we are at week four of the Maine Mom on the Run Runniversary celebration. In this final week, I saved one of my favorite items to review. The company and those behind it are pretty awesome too. But first I need to make a confession...

I am a compression addict. There, I said it. I am addicted to compression. Since it has come into my life my legs no longer ache from a mixture of poor circulation, varicose veins, running, and working in restaurants and retail. And I wear it 24/7.

The kind and generous folks at Tommie Copper sent me some of their compression products for my review. I was so excited when I got the package in the mail to find a pair or knee sleeves, calf sleeves, and ankle sleeves that I put them all on right then and there!

Copper Legs
Let's start from the top.

Knee sleeves:

The Knee Compression Sleeves are currently offered in four colors, black, cobalt blue, olive green, and slate gray. To get a correct size, you must measure five inches above the center of the knee. The sizing is as follows:

Small - 14"-16"
Medium - 16"-18"
Large - 18"-20"
X Large - 20"-22"
XX Large - 22"-24"

My leg measured 18.25" which puts me in a large, but just barely. I've run into this problem with other compression products and found that the smaller size has worked better. After talking to the amazing Jordan at Tommie Copper, we decided a size medium would be best.


At first I was unsure I made the right size decision. I felt the elastic bands that are at the top and bottom of the sleeves were a little too tight. But after wearing them for a while, I didn't notice them anymore and they were very comfortable. In fact, I think the fabric that covers my knee could do with a little more compression in comparison to the elastic bands. Also, in regards to the elastic bands, they do a great job at keeping the sleeves in place due to the rubbery surface. There is also a band at the bottom of the sleeve that hits me at the widest part of my calf. Doing slight adjustments made all the difference in getting a good fit.

The big question, though, is do they work?

In my opinion, YES! I don't wear them while running, but use them for recovery. The biggest test was the day I ran eight miles (a personal record distance at the time) and then worked a 12-hour restaurant shift without a break. After the run my knees were aching a bit and stiff by the time I drove home. Within five minutes of putting on the knee sleeves the aching was gone! I wore them under my pants to work the whole day and felt great afterward...well, as good as one can after such a long day! I do have to note that I had to wear looser fitting pants because you could see where the compression sleeves ended on my thighs. This might not be the case for everyone.

In the end, the knee sleeves help tremendously with the aches caused by running and my circulation issues that result in varicose veins. I would suggest the Tommie Copper Knee Compression Sleeves to anyone looking for a relief. They really do work!

Stay tuned for my Tommie Copper Review: Part Two where I will give my two cents on Tommie Copper's Calf Compression Sleeves and Ankle Sleeves. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yaktrax Review

Week three of the Maine Mom on the Run Runniversary celebration brings a review of a product that is very useful in the snowy wintry months - Yaktrax. Clara at Yaktrax provided me with a pair of the Yaktrax Pros to review. Currently a owner and user of the older Yaktrax style, I was excited to try out their new and improved product. 


What are Yaktrax and why do I need them, you may be asking yourself? Well, if you live in the warmer climates you have the luxury of very rarely, if ever, running in bad conditions. As in snow and ice. Here in Maine, the winters (usually) bring around 60-70 inches of snow. This winter, we've had less than 20 inches thus far. Yes, there still is a lot of winter left (last year we had a big storm on April 1st), but I've had to be creative in getting some use out of my new Yaktrax for this review. 

Where's all the snow?
Right away I was impressed with the packaging. It is made with 40% recycled content and is 100% recyclable. Not one bit of plastic. And all electricity used to manufacture Yaktrax comes from wind power.


And fresh from the box -

Yaktrax says the Pro "will instantly give you better traction, confidence and safety on packed snow and ice. Move about naturally with the same solid grip that you are accustomed to on dry surfaces. Walk or run as you normally would and experience stability on ice and snow like you have never felt before."

I'd have to agree. Just to the right in the picture of my backyard is a small hill that goes up to the house. This remains covered in snow and ice because it is always shaded due to a line of trees on the southern side. This is also the only way to the yard on this side of the house and is the most used by us and the dogs. Needless to say this area is slick and is where I've been able to give the Yaktrax Pro's a try. 

Our oldest dog, Kaia, tends to run off in the morning so we put her on a leash instead of yelling for her in the early hours. She hates the leash and refuses to walk (even after 8 years) and just tugs and tugs. 

What? I don't like the leash, okay?
This is pretty dangerous when dealing with packed snow and ice. Enter Yaktrax Pro. After returning from a morning run, I strapped on the Yaktrax Pro's, put Kaia on the leash, and speedily went down the hill. Absolutely no slipping! It was as if I was wearing crampons, you know the shoes with spikes? But these are much less dangerous.

The Yaktrax Pro's are made from a heavy-duty natural rubber with steel coils wrapped around the bottom. There is a removable strap that holds the Yaktrax on your shoe, something my older model does not have. This, along with being more substantial with how it wraps around my shoes, make the new Yaktrax superior when running. There is no chance of them flying off mid-stride. The Yaktrax Pro's fit great and after just a short time, I forgot I was even wearing them.



The construction is a "patented SkidLock design that provides 360 degrees of traction . . . and can be worn in temperatures as low as -41 degrees Fahrenheit." Negative 41! The girls and I ran in -12 this year and I'm not certain we'd go below -20, but it's nice to know that the Yaktrax Pro's would still perform in such conditions!

Yaktrax also offers the XTR Extreme, Yaktrax Walker, and SkiTrax models, depending on your traction needs. For more information about Yaktrax visit their website here.

Virtual Run Winner and My 100th Post

How fitting is it that my 100th post is announcing the winner of my One Year Runniversary Virtual Run? I love when things work out like that!
Thanks to everyone who participated and ran with me. The following runners (in no particular order) sent me an email to let me know they ran:
  1. Jamie
  2. Jesse
  3. Michelle
  4. Carolyn
  5. Holly
  6. Suzanne
  7. Jen
  8. Debby
  9. Ali
  10. Jill
  11. Laurel
If I missed someone on this list, I sincerely apologize! Here are the photos of some of the runners:

Suzanne
Jen
Ali
Are you curious what is up for grabs? I had posted some riddles about each item. If you guessed correctly, you've earned an extra five entries! Number two was difficult and after thinking about it, the riddle doesn't quite fit what I wrote. So that one is a gimmie.

The correct answers are:
  1. Headlamp
  2. LED Safety Light
  3. Gummy Bears 
  4. Headband
  5. Gloves 
  6. Water Bottle (24 oz.) 
  7. Pedometer 
  8. iTunes Giftcard 
  9. Chapstick 
  10. Kneesocks 

The participants earning five extra entries are:
  1. Michelle
  2. Suzanne
  3. Laurel 
Extra entries were entered in the order the riddle answers were received.
And now for what you all have been waiting for. The winner of my first ever virtual run is.......

Chica Bands Winners!

A big thanks to everyone who entered my Chica Bands giveaway and to Chica Bands for creating such a great product. Out of 103 entries the winners are:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Husband Runs.

This past Friday, Ian suggested that we meet in Brunswick for lunch and then head over to Maine Running Company. Sounds like a perfect date to me. Maybe minus the boys next time. Finn was busy "helping" by grabbing everything he wasn't supposed to. Zeke was kept busy measuring and remeasuring his feet, hands, and whatever else was around.

I've been nagging suggesting that the hubs start running for a little while. Partially because I am a little jealous of all my running gals with their running husbands, but mostly because I want him to lead a healthier life and be around for the boys and I for as long as possible. It would be nice to have something like this in common to talk about. Plus it's pretty easy to get started, just one foot in front of the other. I even got him some running pants and a shirt for Christmas as a little hint. I think I mentioned at some time that he was going to run a 5K with me this year, so he was going to need some shoes.

Maine Running Company has two locations, in Brunswick and Portland. And the employees there are just awesome, really know their stuff and take the time to make sure you are getting the right shoe for you. Ian had been looking online at reviews and was thinking of getting something in the Brooks line since I am now in the Brooks Pure Connects. Enter extreme guilt here when the salesman asked if I bought my shoes from them. Ugh...I bought them online. I promise to buy local next time...promise.

Anyway, he eventually settled on the Saucony Triumph 9s. 


Yesterday he got to try them out. As in, went running. An entire mile! I'm so proud of him that his running journey has begun. It will also be easy to remember when he started since it was his birthday yesterday, too! I think that was a great birthday present to himself, don't you?

And since it was his birthday, that also meant that it was time for our bi-annual date night. We go once on February 13 to celebrate his birthday and Valentine's Day and once in September for our wedding anniversary. One place that we keep going back to is the Broad Arrow Tavern at the Harrasseeket Inn in Freeport. We always have a great time and have delicious food, but last night's dinner was exceptional. 

Usually, we end up near in the center of the room between two hearths. Almost at the same table every single time. Last night, the hostess brought us all the way around a corner to a secret section/nook with upholstered chairs. It was a cozy little table away from everyone else with a view of outside. She must have known we were on a date or something.

We ate so much food. All of the food is locally farmed and so yummy. We started with the mussels. We ate a few before I remembered to take a picture.


Then I had French Onion soup and Ian had the lobster stew.


For our entrees, Ian had Filet Mignon topped with fried onions, roasted vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. Sorry, no picture, but it was wonderful. I had the thickest pork chop in the world with a maple demi glaze, roasted vegetables, and blue cheese mashed potatoes. 


Dessert was a mixed berry crisp for me and chocolate bread pudding with fresh strawberries (and a candle) and a cappucino with homemade biscotti for Ian. 

Happy birthday, honey!
It was seriously the most full I have ever been. It was just all so good. If you are ever in Freeport, I highly recommend it.

We ended the night with a trip over to the L.L. Bean Outlet to get, what else, his and hers running socks!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Handful Winner!

And now for what you have all been waiting for - the winner of my very first giveaway and the most awesome bra on the planet. Out of 157 entries, random.org picked the incredible...

Chica Bands Review {and Giveaway!}

Week two of the Maine Mom on the Run Runniversary celebration brings to you a Chica Bands review. A huge fan of headbands, both out of fashion and necessity to tame the wild wispies and scraggly greys, I've tried a ton of different brands of bands. Needless to say, while similar in style and construction, some definitely work much better than others. At the top of my list? Chica Bands.


I was first introduced to Chica Bands through a local blog. It just so happened that I won her giveaway and got to choose two bands for my very own. And after seeing a running pal, Jen of Running with the Girls wear a sparkly one for her first marathon, I chose two sparkle bands - the Glittery Skinny Violet and the Hi-Ho Skinny Silver!


Each Chica Band is made with a ribbon sewn to coordinating velvet that prevents slipping. The ribbon is attached to an elastic that allows stretch for various sized heads. What works for me with Chica Bands is their size. Similar bands are too large for my head and slip off even with a velvet base ribbon. They also offer smaller bands suited for children called their Chicita Band.

Head Chica, Meg, offered to send me two more bands for review. For the first band, I chose a thick band. I told her my favorite colors and she sent me this pretty number.


It goes perfectly with my new shoes and the outfit I'm putting together for my first half marathon in April! Like my skinny bands, the thick band is a good fit. I wore it to yoga last week and had absolutely no slipping. It stayed right in place.

Chica Bands also has a reflective line. I chose one of these for my second band since the only time I have to run in early morning and wearing reflective gear is a must.


There truly is a band for everyone. They also carry sport-specific bands, team colors, and couture designs. To see all of their bands and to order online please visit the Chica Bands website here.

My Chica Band collection!
Meg has also offered TWO lucky readers two Chica Bands of their very own! What do you have to do to win? It's as easy as using the Rafflecopter entry form below! This contest will run for one week starting February 8th and ending February 14th. Two winners will be chosen using Random.org and notified via this blog on February 15th. Have fun and good luck!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Guest Post (The Role of Exercise in Fighting Cancer)

Recently, I had been contacted by Liz to see if I would be interested in a guest post on this blog. Her timing is perfect. Handful, the company and product I am currently hosting a giveaway for is an approved mastectomy bra.

Read on for Liz's post: 

When one receives a diagnosis of cancer, fear strikes at the heart. There may be thoughts of suffering, and leaving loved ones behind. But it doesn't have to be that way. Today, cancer is more treatable than ever; leading to a good prognosis for those whose cancer is caught early. In addition, there is much that one can do on their own to ensure a good outcome. An extremely important component of cancer treatment is exercise. Exercise's role in improving physical and mental health cannot be underestimated. 

When fighting cancer, maintaining or improving physical condition is important. While one may have a disease, it is still possible, and actually essential, to maintain one's fitness level. Treatments such as
chemotherapy will target the cancerous cells, and hopefully eradicate them completely. However, it also attacks healthy cells, and can weaken one temporarily. Being in good physical shape can lessen the discomfort, and help the body to fight. One should, of course, always check with their doctor regarding physical activity level during treatment. 

Exercise has an incredibly beneficial impact on mental health. Aerobic exercise such as walking, running, or biking releases endorphins which contribute to a positive mood, and relieve stress.
Lung cancer and mesothelioma causes patients to focus on these types of exercises to increase lung capacity. Maintaining a positive outlook will help one to fight and overcome illness. Strength training exercises build muscle and improves overall muscle tone, which will help to avoid becoming emaciated. 

One of the most effective treatments for cancer, is addition to medical care, is state of mind. One needs to continue thinking of themselves as a person with dreams, goals, and a future. Besides the direct role of exercise in improving physical and mental health, the mere act of getting up or going out and exercising is telling one's body that they are not giving up on it. Continuing to meet and exceed
fitness goals helps one keep their identity as a person, not a cancer patient.

Exercise has benefits for everyone, but for those preparing and continuing to overcome cancer, the benefits are many. Keeping strength despite illness, having hope instead of despair, being a person instead of a patient: these are all results of maintaining a fitness regimen. 
 

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April. 

Thank you, Liz, for sharing.

Happy Runniversary to Me!

Yay! I made it! One year ago today I started my on my running journey. I felt it fitting to go on the same run, same course that I did on that day in February 2011. Honestly, I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Finn had another crappy night of sleep (no surprise there) and my quads are so fatigued from Sunday's race and last night's yoga class. This particular route has some monster hills and I didn't know if my legs could take it. Then I thought to myself, you've got to go. You can't not go. You will be mad at yourself for the rest of the day if you don't. GET OUT OF BED! So I did. Plus, I could not write this post if I didn't.
When I thought about this run before today, I wanted to go all out to really see how much I have improved over the course of a year. However, given the circumstances of tired legs and a tired head, today's run was going to be more about fun and celebrating all the successes I've had in the past year. 

Notice how my outfit matches the bib? I didn't plan that...honest!
Well, it went great! The hills were not really an issue at all, I actually charged up all of them and felt super strong.

Just for a little comparison to last years time:
2/7/11 - 20:25, 10:09 pace (going as fast as I could go and thought I was going to die)
2/7/12 - 17:25, 8:40 pace (working comfortably hard and could have easily done another two)

And now to celebrate with a little cake.

Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Cake with a Peanut Butter Glaze
My virtual run and giveaway will be open for another week. You can enter here. And earn more entries here. And while you're at it, only 15 hours left to enter my Handful giveaway here.

Have a happy Tuesday!











Monday, February 6, 2012

Mid-Winter 10 Mile Classic Recap and a PR

Yesterday I ran in the Mid-Winter Classic, a ten-mile race held in Cape Elizabeth. This year was the 30th running of this race and I was so excited to be a part of it. Last year the race was postponed and then canceled due to snow storms and those runners had first dibs in this years race. Fellow running girls Jen and Stacy were two such runners, so I wanted to get in. I did, as did other members of our little running group, Jill and Jess (and her husband, Joe).

Having only raced a 10K distance before, I was sure nervous going in and didn't really know what to expect. But I thought it would be a good race to test myself as a precursor to my first half marathon that is happening in 60 days. Whoa, 60 days! 

I knew I wanted to be under 1:25 for an overall time (8:30 pace). My training thus far has been in preparation for an 8:30 half marathon pace and my 10K PR was at an 8:06 pace, so I felt a good goal for a 10-miler would be 8:15. Makes sense, right? Then running pal Jen announces we have to run it in 1:19 = 7:54 pace...uh, that's faster than my 10K pace...are you crazy? Poor Jen came down with a terrible chest cold and had a 103-degree fever the morning of the race (she still ran 'cuz she's bad-ass), so it was up to me to race my heart out for a 1:19. Honestly, in my head I wanted to keep it close to 8-minute mile and hold on as long as possible. That would bring me close.

The weather conditions were pretty much ideal for running in February. There hasn't been much snow and the roads were clear. We all went back and forth on what to wear, but I decided less is best for racing. It was sunny and around 20-degrees with minimal wind, so I went with capris and my blue Zensah sleeves, my white long sleeve base layer and a blue tee. More than one person during the race commented on my outfit coordination. Ha! This was also the first time racing in my Brooks Pure Connects. I think they should be renamed Pure Awesomeness.

Like always, the start is so slow. It only took 13 seconds to reach the start line, but took quite a while for the field of 611 runners to thin out. Of course I didn't start my watch until crossing the line since there was no start mat and my watch would be more accurate than the gun time. Mile one was pretty much down hill. Jess ran with me for a bit until we saw "sickly" Jen blow past us. Jess went to catch up with Jen while I tried to keep a steady pace. I eventually caught up with Jen, but neither of us saw the camera or I think we would have put on more pretty faces. Mile one split - 8:08
I'm #484 in blue and Jen is #55 in the purple shirt
Then come the hills. Ugh. Mile two had some toughies, but I had been studying the course profile and knew there were some good downhills around miles three and four. Mile two split - 7:53

I skipped the water station at mile three, knowing that there was another one at mile five where I had planned on refueling. Mile three split - 7:53

I totally missed seeing the mile four marker. I remember looking down at my watch and it said 8:35. This had been a downhill mile, so I know I must have already passed it. So miles four and five - 15:55. Halfway done and still putting out sub-8 minute miles! I did stop to walk for a few seconds to drink choke on some water and then took off again. I took out a Shot Blok to eat on the run. This was literally my first attempt at refueling while running. I've eaten once or twice during our long runs, but we have always stopped to do this. Needless to say, I only ate one before deciding I can't breathe heavily and eat at the same time and said screw it, I don't need to eat. I guess I'm going to have to practice this. I also had to take my gloves off at this point. My hands had been hot since mile three and one glove was wet from the water I spilled grabbing the water cup.
I forget where this camera was, I think right before mile 5 and the water stop. (Photo: Maine Running Photos)

Mile six split - 8:06
Mile seven split - 8:36 The third water station (my second stop) must have been within this split because I walked for a few seconds to get a good drink. 
Mile eight split - 8:03

And so began the gradual hill from hell. My quads were very fatigued at this point and this hill, though not steep, literally went on for more than a mile. I wanted to walk, but I was within two miles from the finish. Only eight laps around a track. I can do this. I was also excited to see that even if I ran the last two miles at a 10 minute pace I still would surpass my goal. Run, run, run! 

Mile nine split - 8:35

Soon I could see the high school where the race began and ended and knew I was going to make it. Plus the finish was downhill. I love downhill finishes.  

Mile ten - 8:16

My stats:
1:21:28, 8:08 pace!
238 out of 611 overall
58 out of 262 females
12 out of 43 in age group (35-39)

Everyone had a great run!
Speedy Jess with a 1:18 (Photo: Running with the Girls)
I don't think Ward recognized me until after I passed him! (Photo: Running with the Girls)
Jen still posts a 1:24, fever and all! (Photo: Running with the Girls)
Jill and Stacy. This was near the beginning, but they were still smiling at the finish. (Photo: Maine Running Photos)
All smiles! Me, Jen, Jill, Jess, and Stacy
Running 10 miles makes you downright giddy!
Thanks ladies, for once again, an awesome run!

Hey, and you know what? Tomorrow is the my official Runniversary! Guess what I'll be doing in the morning. Have you signed up for my virtual run and giveaway? Do it here. Also, only one more day to enter my Handful giveaway. It ends Tuesday at midnight EST!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Score More Virtual Run Entries

I love that there are already a bunch of you who have agreed to participate in my Runniversary Two-Mile Run and giveaway! And you don't even know what the prize is! I thought it might be fun to add a little something extra. This is completely optional, but anyone who correctly answers the following riddles either in a comment below or in an email to carrie [dot] mce18 [at] gmail [dot] com, will not only know what items are in the runner's goodie bag, but will get five additional entries into the giveaway! Have fun and good luck!

If you can guess the prizes herein,
An extra five entries you’ll earn, let’s begin.


#1 - This cyclops of light will keep you safe in the night.
#2 - Two options in red, you don’t wear on your head. To be seen from afar, by a truck or a car.
#3 - Some others are cuddly and belong in your bed, but these tasty treats don’t go by the name Ted.
#4 - Keep wispies away, what more can I say?
#5 - These will help your digits stay warm, “one size fits all” it says on the form.
#6 - Fill it up with liquid gold, a pint and a half does it hold.
#7 - How many footprints, do you know? The farther you go, the higher does it show.
#8 - This could have you rocking out hard, amazing what you can get from a little card.
#9 - Wind, cold, and sun can give them a chap. Use this and remember to replace the cap.
#10 - Fashion-forward from your toes to your knees. These make a statement, wear them as you please!

I hope you enjoyed this little game, with any luck I’ll pick your name!

All You Need is a Handful {Review and Giveaway}

For week one of the Maine Mom on the Run Runniversary celebration I'd like to share my review of the Handful sports bra. First, let me give you a little information about the company.


While in a frustrating quest for a good sports bra, Jennifer Ferguson, a fitness enthusiast in Oregon decided to design and manufacture a bra that not only performs well while working out, but also is a fantastic piece to wear all the time. Handful's motto is "to flatter, not flatten" and it holds up to these words.

Since receiving my Handful, I have worn it almost every single day. Unfortunately, I had to take it off to wash it! It came in the mail the day before my last road race and I was so excited to try it out. I'm not the chestiest of people, but nursing two boys left the girls, lets just say, a little on the tired side. I have worn my Handful in yoga and there is no need to readjust between poses.

My Handful makes me feel relaxed.
And my Handful makes me feel strong.
Needless to say, this bra is the most comfortable one I have ever owned. At first wary of the thin criss-cross straps, they in no way cut into my shoulders and offer all the support I need. The fabric is a nylon/spandex blend with a polyester lining that offers a comfortable stretch, wicks away moisture, and is soft to the skin. The construction is such that the are no areas where the stitching rubs. It really is in the details that this bra shines. The label is placed on the outside away from the skin and is tone on tone for a classy and understated advertisement. 


The gathering of the center stitching adds a feminine touch and stays hidden under everyday clothes, but it is cute enough to have peeking out! 


It is packaged in a reusable mesh bag for laundering.

 
I have also worn this bra under my normal clothes and it gives an incredible shape. A fan of the comfort of sports bras in general, but not the uni-boob they create, the Handful bra solves this problem. 


Removable inserts add a little to those parts that are lacking to create a natural and feminine look. Using the inserts are also helpful in hiding those parts that sometimes become visible in a cold place like Maine!

I have even worn this bra to bed to gauge it's comfort level. I can't stand any sort of restrictive clothing when I sleep, but the Handful bra was comfortable the whole night and I wasn't even aware I was wearing it.

The Handful currently is offered in five colors:


Retail is $40, but the Nude, Cocoa, and Pink are currently on a closeout price of $28! A fantastic deal!

The sizing is as follows:
XSmall (32A-32C+)
Small (34A-34C+)
Medium (36A-36C+)
Large (38A-38C+)

I found the sizing to be accurate. My measurements fall in between a small and medium and decided to go with a small. I bet a medium would also fit, but it might not offer as good support for my size.

For even more information about this amazing bra and it's company or to purchase online please visit www.handful.com. In a previous post I linked to their new promotional video.You can watch it again here:

And now for the really fun part! The wonderful Jodi at Handful has graciously offered a Handful sports bra to one lucky Maine Mom on the Run reader! What do you need to do to enter? It's easy, just use the Rafflecopter entry form below. This contest will run from February 1st - February 7th at midnight EST. One winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on this blog the following day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Handful sent me a bra to review free of charge, as well as one to give away. All opinions are my own.