Hydro Inertia Training With The Surge

16426277_1342033315848549_6104887067993813124_n  As a trainer, I know the importance of adding various stability work to build on our proprioceptive abilities. Challenging our natural movements with The Surge® is a great way to accomplish this, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to be awarded the opportunity to try it out for myself.

What is The Surge??

 

16300371_1338586312859916_5055791076311326729_o

The Surge is a portable piece of training equipment that uses water to create dynamic resistance, which will effectively challenge every part of your body as it works to stabilize the moving water.

It can be used in a variety of manners and is extremely versatile.  You can go light or add more water (see chart below) to take things up a notch.  However, you should be aware that you’ll want to lighten your load due to the added challenge of the moving water.

surge-weight-chart-sm

As mentioned, there are a variety of ways to use The Surge. The dual vertical and horizontal handles open up a whole slew of possibilities.  You can do anything from deadlifting to jump squats.

16300355_1338573659527848_8183548322112276260_o.jpg

In addition to these traits, The Surge also comes in two different sizes.   The more compact 3.0 is great for core and upper body work.

15975047_1327900070595207_8265443045181242234_o

This is definitely a great addition to my arsenal of training tools.  I look forward to using this in my work with clients and within my own training plans.  It’s going to get a lot of use.

Have you heard of The Surge?  Do you see how it can benefit your training sessions?

If you’d like to learn more go to www.hedstromfitness.com/sweatpink.

If you’ve seen enough and want to buy your own Surge go to the link use code 💗SPHF25 to save 25% off your order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Race Recap: Seneca7-77.7 Mile Relay Race 4/19/15

Back to back race weekends are not something I am used to and likely not something I would recommend. In short, my body and mind are exhausted, but it was so worth it.

11159537_10153858696140931_3035993148069077201_n

If you’re from the area and you are a runner chances are that you’ve heard of the Seneca7 relay race.  It’s fairly new (5 years old) and this is my second year participating in the fun.

Last year I was just on the mend from bronchitis by race day, this year I was facing a similar fate.  My cough was finally gone, but my body was still under-conditioned due to the 3 week hiatus and not quite ready for another long day of racing.  I was nervous and being runner 7 didn’t help calm my nerves.  I always get nervous before a big race (even if the outcome doesn’t matter) and I had to sit around and watch every other runner on my team complete their legs before I had a chance at my own.

Leg #7:  4.1 miles, 00:49:06, 12:01 pace

When it finally came time for leg#7 I was ready (or at least I thought I was).  I knew my distance was 4.1 miles, but I failed to fully checkout the elevation chart for that first leg.  Can you guess what it looked like??

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 12.50.08 PM

It was a lovely 4.1 miles of an uphill climb.  It wasn’t the worst of hills, but for someone like me who was still physically recovering from a hilly half, it was brutal. Not the way I envisioned starting out my long day of racing. Seeing my finish pace of 12min/mile was defeating.  How could I have slowed down so much since last year?  What was going on?

In short, hills suck.  They suck the life and energy out of every muscle in my body and are a literal pain in my ass.

Leg#14: 3.1 miles, 00:35:24, 11:26 pace

Leg 14 felt a lot better, but I still couldn’t get past the mental game that was going on in my head.  Why on earth was I still moving so slow?  Why were so many people passing me while looking so light on their feet?  Why couldn’t I push myself more? I’m used to being slow, but back to back weekends of getting slapped in the face with the slow stick was definitely starting to take its toll on my mind.

Leg #21: 3.7 miles, 00:43:13, 11:45 pace

My final leg was a relief, not because it was easier, but because I was that much closer to ending such a long day.  I was spent and all I wanted to do was drive home and get cozy with my bed and pillow.  Being the last runner was so much more challenging than I had anticipated.  Watching each of my teammates finish their final legs while I was still awaiting mine had me wishing I was runner 1.

I sucked it up and finished off as strong as I could.  By the time I reached the team reunification point I was running on E, but felt a final kick of power set in.  I picked up my pace for the last quarter mile and lead my team across the finish.  I was done.  We were done.  FINALLY.  Team Prepping For The Zombie Apocalypse had finished their last year with the namesake.  11149652_10204073362049783_2168526844668261403_o

 

 

 

Race Recap: Skunk Cabbage Classic Half Marathon, Ithaca NY 4/12/15

“…talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.”
Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

   

 

Well, I did it!  I finished my second racing half marathon!  It wasn’t at all as I had planned–this was supposed to be the race I would PR in and where I finally hit sub 2:30, but that didn’t happen and I am okay with it.

Training for this half was touch and go and there were times where I wasn’t sure if I should stick with it.  At the end of February shortly after a 10K training run I was hit with the worse case of flu/bronchitis that I’ve experienced since college.  It hit really hard and took me out of training mode for 3 weeks.  Three weeks might not seem like a huge chunk of time, but it was and it left me with just 4 weeks to retrain my body to run 13.1 miles.

I went in without high expectations and accepted the fact that this would not be the race I had initially hoped for.  What I didn’t account for was how mentally challenging it would be.  This race was probably one of the most difficult ones to date.  I was (and still am) fighting yet another cold with a cough and the medication I take does wonders, but it also dries me out.  By mile 4 I was regretting my decision to stick with the half–I kept wishing I had just downgraded to the 10k.  I was parched and my lungs burned as I sputtered out dry coughs.

The inner dialogue I had with myself was at times comical, but mostly I kept repeating, “FUCK! Why is this so hard?  What am I doing here.  Why didn’t I downgrade.  9 more miles?!  What in the actual fuck?  How will I make it through”.

I am a slow runner, but this is the first time I’ve truly experienced true back of the pack racing.  It adds to the mental challenge.  You find yourself racing solo and the walk breaks are so much more tempting.  The urge to quit is that much greater and every ounce of pain is magnified.  I had no music to distract me and no friends to push me forward.  It was hard.  I felt like I was failing.

The rolling hills didn’t feel like rolling hills, they felt more like a constant gradual incline with the occasional downhill.  With the steeper hills I found myself walking and fighting so hard not to lose momentum.  I’m not typically a run/walker–I would much rather keep a slow and steady pace than break and restart.  This is the first race (aside from the full marathon) where I continually needed to walk and it was frustrating.

Though I spent a lot of time running alone, I was sandwiched between a couple of runners, yellow shirt guy and neon shirt lady.  Both had pulled ahead of me at various points during the race and my goal was to stick with them.  I didn’t want to finish behind them so I did my best to conserve my energy for a strong finish.  I took advantage of the downward hills and used them to catch up, but they still remained ahead of me until mile 11-12.

Having the finish on one of my regular routes was definitely beneficial for my final stretch.  I knew after mile 12 that the remainder of the course was on a slight downhill.  I knew that I’ve run down that same path on Tower road and that I would always finish my lunch runs strong.  I knew that I already had 11 miles behind me and that giving up in the last mile would have been for someone weaker than myself.  I knew that my heavy legs still had some life in them.

I powered through and pulled ahead.  I passed both yellow shirt guy and neon shirt lady.  I know it probably didn’t mean much as far as boosting my finish time, but I dragged myself across the finish at 2:55:30.  It was 21 minutes past my PR and I was legit 592/598.  It almost embarrasses me to post that time and place, but what can I do?  Why be embarrassed?

It’s these moments of humility that strengthen us.  It’s these moments where we wanted to quit but didn’t that show us we are capable of greater things. I know I will do better and that this race doesn’t define me as runner.  If anything it has taught me a lesson about perseverance and pride.  Pride for those back of the pack runners.  No one knows true strength and determination until you’ve experienced running a race at the back of the pack.   It’s an experience every runner should feel.  I know it’s opened my eyes for appreciation of what our bodies and minds can achieve.

Did you race this past weekend?  Were you at Skunk Cabbage?  Have you ever experience a lesson in humility during one of your races?

Product Review & Giveaway: Ozzy Gear Impact Armbands

**I did not get paid for my review, but did receive free product.  As always, my experiences and opinions are my own.  As a blogger and fitness enthusiast I do my best to provide true and honest accounts of fitness products that I’ve used.

Runner 1 HR

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a rep from Ozzy Gear Impact Armbands and was so graciously offered an opportunity to both review and giveaway their product.  So, what’s so special about these armbands?

Print

I’ve had my share of armbands for my iPhone/iPod before and the majority of them didn’t hold up well over time.  Ozzy Gear has worked hard to create a product that stands up to the test of time.

Upon inspection, you can see the durability of this product.  It is made of neoprene and is pieced together with durable stitching and strong velcro.

One of my favorite things about this band is that it’s adjustable to fit many arm widths.  Option A fits arm sizes approx. 8″-11.5″ and Option B fits arm sizes approx. 11.5″-14″.  This is great for those of us with larger arms and also provides multiple ways to be worn.

When I run and am using my tracking app I like to wear the band on my forearm so that it’s more easily accessible.  I also choose this option when I’m training my arms.  I don’t like to have it strapped to my bicep while my muscles expand and contract because I find it to be restrictive.  Having the alternative option takes care of this issue.

IMG_7130

I used the band with my iPhone 5S (includes case) and it fit comfortably and protected my phone from the elements.  I’ve worn the band multiple times through wet snow and freezing rain and my phone was left dry and unharmed.  The armband stands up to its description of being durable, but within a few weeks there was minor wear present at the insertion point.

IMG_7370

This doesn’t seem to have any effect on the product and my only real complaint is that the camera hole doesn’t really line up well with my phone.  I suppose that is the trouble with a band that is designed to fit many models of phone.  Per their website, “It’s a perfect fit for iPhone 6 (4.7) and Galaxy S5. Also fits many iPhone 5/5S/5C and iPhone 4/4S with protective cases on. Does not fit iPhone 6 (5.5).” 

Now let’s get to that giveaway!!  I’ve got three of these babies up for grabs and there are multiple ways to enter! You can earn chances to win by commenting below or by following me on Instagram and sharing my giveaway photo with the hashtag #SarahGriffFitOZZYGEAR, you can also tweet this post with the same hashtag.

I will be selecting and announcing the winners on Valentine’s Day so be sure to get entered! You can enter as many times as you want via Instagram/Twitter, but can only earn one entry for commenting below.

In addition to my giveaway I’ve got a $3 off discount code to share with you all.  Use code “SARAHFIT” for $3 off the purchase of an armband (good through midnight 2/28/2015).

Do you use an armband during your workouts?  Have you tried Ozzy Gear bands yet?

On Being A “Larger” Runner & Preventing Injuries

I’m not a small person and I don’t carry the (stereo)typical “runner” physique.  I’m still working towards my weight loss goals and my body isn’t light and lanky.  I have heavy, solid legs and curves.  My mommy tummy still shakes and jiggles when I run and I pound the pavement hard.

nearing the finish of a 5K race

Running at this weight might not be ideal, but it still feels pretty damned good!  I’m pushing 185-188lbs these days and on a good day can push a 10:10 pace for a 5K.  My long runs are much slower, but I can go for miles and miles without needing to rest.  Really though, none of that matters–I am a slow runner, I am a larger runner, I am a mother runner, I am a runner.

10474544_10154295267385193_2284628855000502809_n

It doesn’t matter which adjective I use to describe it, it all boils down to the fact that I am a runner.  I am strong and powerful and I can accomplish more than my mind knows.

BUT, that doesn’t mean that running larger doesn’t come with its challenges.  Having a heavier build often means that you’re exerting more wear and tear on your body. Pounding the pavement hard can take its toll on the body if you do not take the proper precautions.  Many of us larger runners take on running as a means to lose weight.  Eager to go hard and hit big goals, many new runners are faced with the dread that is a running injury.

Believe me, I’ve faced my share of running related injuries and I know what my body can and can’t handle.  Surprisingly, most of said injuries occurred before I even became a runner.  In college when I participated on the woman’s rowing team I faced multiple overuse injuries to my knees.  I had IT band issues and patellar tendonitis.  There really wasn’t a time where pain wasn’t present.  I resigned to the fact that I had bad knees and thus couldn’t be a runner.

Fast-forward to today.  I haven’t faced any real injuries (aside from the time I didn’t change shoes soon enough) since my running ventures began in 2013.  In the first weeks of running I did make the mistake of using my 2-year-old running shoes and soon enough I began to feel pain in my shin.  This is when I learned the importance of a good shoe and how easing into training is the best course of action.  So, I’ve decided to use my own experiences and compile them with additional tips for preventing injury as a larger runner.

PREVENTING INJURY AS A LARGER RUNNER (aka Clydesdale/Athena runners)

*Please Note:  I am not a running expert nor a physician.  These tips are based on my own experiences and research.

  1. Ease into your training.  If it hurts when you do it, then don’t do it!  I know this seems counterintuitive because running can “hurt” in a good way without causing injury, but what I’m saying is that you need to ease your body into running so that you don’t get injured.  If you try to go too fast or too hard too soon, your body will pay the price.  I strongly advise that you take a couple of weeks to build and develop strength in your legs.  I usedP90X as my foundation builder and I think it’s what helped me feel like I could actually be a runner.Having a proper base is a great way to prevent overuse injuries.  This can also be achieved by using one of the beginner runner programs like Couch to 5K.  Programs like this ease your body into running and it’s important to follow the program as advised, it is not the time to be an overachiever (which can actually set you back instead of push you further).
  2. Buy proper footwear.  Because we are built heavier, it’s very important to make sure we make the effort to get a proper shoe and to make sure we change our shoes when they lose their support. A good rule of thumb for bigger runners is to find a shoe with a strong midsole support system.  For me this just so happens to be Asics Gel Kayanos.  Every shoe’s life expectancy varies depending on the runner’s stride, the shoe type, and the conditions the shoes are run in (i.e. concrete running vs. trail running).  For myself I usually find the 300 mile range to be my sweet spot.  It’s all about listening to your body though!  If you start to feel aches and pains that weren’t there a few weeks ago it might be time for a new pair.
  3. Choose your running surfaces wisely.  Not all running surfaces are created equal!  Concrete is by far the worse surface to run on, it doesn’t offer any form of shock absorption so your body is faced with the brunt of it.  When possible it’s best to opt for softer surfaces–this is why you often see runners on the road when there is a perfectly good sidewalk next to them.  I’ve grown to love trail running for this particular reason. My stride is cushioned by the soft ground and the scenery and terrain change makes for a fun run.
  4. Listen to your body.  With any fitness routine it’s always important to listen to your body.  If you feel achy and it’s just sore muscles you won’t do too much damage by going out for a quick jog.  If you feel pinpoint pain that worsens upon running then you might want to cut back and let your body heal.  If you’re not sure what your body needs then you might want to consider seeing a doctor.  Persistent pain is a big red flag and ignoring it can lead to permanent injury that can derail your running completely.
  5. Go your own pace.  This goes hand in hand with easing into your training.  Group runs are fun, but running with others means that you might try to push yourself too hard.
  6. Fuel your body. With any new routine (even if weight loss is the goal) it’s important to fuel your body.   This is not the time to skimp on your diet.  Your body needs to be properly fueled and fed in order to prevent injury.  Malnourishment can lead to prolonged recovery and an increased risk of injury and illness.
  7. Dress the part.  Clothing attire might not be something that seems important, but for myself I think it helps!  Having the proper clothes can save you from jostling around with each stride and can help prevent chafing.
  8. Allow for rest and recovery.  If you’re just starting out running there is no reason to be running everyday.  Your body will need time to recover and repair those hard-working muscles.  Ignoring rest days can lead to fatigue and poor form which can cause long-term injuries.  As always it’s important to be mindful and listen to your body.

I know that a lot of these tips may seem like common sense, but as a once newbie runner I know that it’s not always so easy.  I didn’t know that running shoes weren’t one size fits all.  I didn’t know that running surfaces mattered and I didn’t know that a gradual build to running was best.  It’s still a learning experience for me, but I am eager to keep running and work on that speed.

Are you a larger runner?  What tips do you have to offer?  What have been your biggest obstacles?

 

2014 A Year In Review

This past year has been a whirlwind!  Let’s take a moment to look back to my Fit Goals of 2014 and see what I’ve accomplished!

2014 Fit Goals

  1. Run the entire Walt Disney World Marathon on January 12, 2014
  2. Sign-up for and complete either the Wineglass or Empire State Marathon.
  3. Sign-up and complete a Tough Mudder or similar obstacle race.
  4. Sign-up and PR in at least one Half-Marathon.
  5. Complete at least one unassisted pull-up.
  6. Run faster/more frequently (aim to triple mileage).
  7. Complete 1 round of p90x3.
  8. Sign-up for and complete a few 5k races.
  9. Eat cleaner!  I struggle with this one and often fall off into old habits.
  10. Start biking during the warm months.
  11. Sign-up for the 100 mile Ride for Life
  12. Lose the weight/lose inches–ideal weight=150lbs, size 6/8
  13. Sleep more!
  14. Blog more about fitness! (not really a fit goal, but related–I’d like to make sure to keep you updated on my progress and struggles)

I didn’t get through them all, but I am very proud of the goals that I did accomplish!!

Completing my first marathon is by far my biggest accomplishment of the year!  It wasn’t easy and I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but I did it and was brave enough to sign up for this year’s marathon (which unfortunately I had to back out of in December).  It was a great year of increased mileage, strength, and fun races to boot!

1511169_654072421311312_381875876_n
WDW Marathon 1/12/14

It wasn’t a Tough Mudder, but I did manage to run in 2 obstacle 5ks! Both were a blast and I’m definitely eager to try my hand at something a bit more challenging in 2015.

10245538_10100462166167229_4864715537629001489_n
Tough Turtle-Ithaca,NY
10462519_10154295267535193_1562688246862676154_n
5K Foam Fest-Batavia, NY

I also did fairly well at picking up my pace and increasing my mileage throughout the year (thanks to my months of ill-fated marathon training).  Longer runs became easier and shorter runs were faster.  I was also happy to have completed more 5ks than the prior year, but missed out on many races due to our hectic wedding schedule.

My favorite race of the year might have to be the Trick or Trot 5k because it was the first race that my little nugget ran.  I’ve been counting down the days until this little dude could run with me and it was ridiculously cute to see him wearing his first race bib.
10444548_10100612267947059_2044558690082610264_n

All in all, it’s been a great year! I didn’t complete as many goals as planned, but I didn’t gain back any of the weight I lost in 2013 so I feel proud and accomplished.  I do have big goals for 2015 and hope to keep moving forward with this healthy life and am grateful for all I’ve gained in 2014.

What did your 2014 look like?  Do you have big goals for 2015?

Product Review & Giveaway: Win Sports Detergent

Have you ever had a tech tee or running tights that just smelled straight up funky no matter how many times you ran them through the wash?  I know I have!  I’ve become all too familiar with stocking my laundry room with a gallon jug of vinegar just for that reason.  I constantly struggle during the summer months or if I’ve left clothes in my gym bag for too long.

Screen shot 2014-12-16 at 4.23.58 PM

 

It would always seem that no matter how much I washed my technical fabrics the stench just wouldn’t disappear.  Well, it looks like that may be a thing of the past and I just may be able to finally ditch the vinegar!  WIN Sports Detergent is a specially formulated detergent that essentially removes embedded sports odors.

My first load of stinky gym clothes was the ultimate of tests.  I decided to provide the best stench inducing environment for my gear–I packed 2 days worth of sweat soaked clothes into a ziplock bag and let it stew for a week.  It was rather rank by the time I was ready to try out the detergent so I had high hopes.  If the detergent didn’t work I would know right away and I would also be stuck with the funk.

Lucky me!  The clothes came out fresh and stank free!  The best part is that the amount needed is fairly low and one bottle gets you 21 loads of fresh duds.

For my second and third trials I decided to up the ante and include a few pairs of my son’s pee laden jammies (he’s still prone to the occasional accident).  Both batches turned out fresh and any scent of urine was gone.  I am definitely sold!

These detergents are great because they aren’t just a fragrant method of covering up odors, they actually work to break them down and eliminate them completely.

Have you ever tried special sports detergents?  Well, guess what?!  Now’s your chance!  You can enter to win 2 free bottles (one regular, one green) of Win Detergent.  That’s 42 loads worth of detergent for FREE!! 

If you don’t win you can still save $1 on this great detergent by purchasing through WIN’s Amazon and using the discount code: WINGIVE1.

To enter the giveaway visit my FB page and use the giveaway tab!    Or go to my rafflecopter link to enter here.