A Double FriYay Five

Today’s Friday 5 is a double.  I’m going to not only share with you 5 more exercises that you can do with the Kamagon Ball & Surge from Hedstrom Fitness but also 5 of my favorite things right now.

So let’s get started.  First up here are today’s 5 exercises using my Kamagon Ball & Surge.  I love the Kamagon Ball, it’s seriously one of my fav new things.

Now on to Five of my favorite things.

1) GoMacro macrobars – I’m so excited to have teamed up with Go Macro to be an ambassador & to be using them for my SD100 training.  I have been a huge fan since I first tried the Cashew Butter Macrobar back in 2012. I love that they use Certified Organic ingredients, all of which you can understand and don’t use dates as the base in their bars.  And they taste amazing!

2) I talked about this in my goals post, but I know that I haven’t been drinking nearly enough water, mostly because it’s so cold right now, I don’t feel as thirsty, but I’ve also partnered up with Essence pH10 water to help me get my daily water intake up, which as an ultra runner is so important.

From the Essence pH10 website: Essence pH10 is a premium alkaline water that contains 10% of the daily recommended allowance of calcium, magnesium, and zinc acetate. Additionally, we add organic hibiscus making this the only nutritional water on the market. This patented formula is designed to produce a sustainable pH10 that helps to restore the bodies pH balance. Essence pH10 is 100% sodium free.

3) My Momentum Jewelry sparklets & motivate wraps.  When you are training for a 100 miler or anything for that matter, it’s easy to get discouraged if a run feels super hard or doesn’t go the way you’d like it to.  I know that I look down at my wrist often during these runs for that extra mental push and to remember why I’m out there.

4) Altra Running Torin 2.5s – I am an Altra Ambassador and I’ve tried pretty much every Altra on the market, with the exception of the Provision & the Golden Spike.  I resisted trying the Torin 2.5s after the 2.0s just literally slipped off my feet the one and only time I wore them, but then they brought out the NYC version of the shoe and I thought, maybe the 2.5 was different.  Well I’m here to tell you, it is my new favorite road shoe.  It’s cushioned just enough to help me not pronate, which was causing me ankle pain during marathons, but not over cushioned.  I absolutely love them and if you follow me on instagram, you’ve probably seen me wearing them almost exclusively on the road since I got them.

5) My lululemon align yoga mat.  I don’t think they sell this one anymore, I’ve had it for like 6 years, but it’s a thin but cushioned and perfect for doing not only yoga but stretching and also strength training.

What are your favorite things right now?

Race Recap: Inaugural Pasadena Half Marathon

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve had a race, lol, it’s really only been a month, haha.

Let’s get the following out of the way and then get on to my recap.  I am an ambassador for Conqur Endurance Group, which puts on the Santa Monica 5k/10k, Pasadena Half Marathon and the Los Angeles Marathon (still want to register? use code JENNYLA2017 to save a few dollars).  I did receive a free entry into the race as part of my ambassadorship, however all opinions on the race are my own.

I signed up for the Pasadena Half knowing that we would be in Hawaii the weekend before for HURT, but I wasn’t positive on our travel plans so I signed up for the race day packet pick-up to allow myself some options in case we didn’t get back home until the day before the race.

That being said, I did not attend the expo so I can’t really comment on it.

With my training for SD100 starting and the first of my many training races coming up, SOB 50k on Feb 4, I felt like I needed to get in a double longish run weekend.  So we kicked off the weekend with a double loop run at Lake Miramar while trying to avoid the rain.  We didn’t end up getting on the road until after 3pm so we didn’t have time to go to the Expo which closed at 5p, which was fine.

We had a quick dinner at CPK, which was right near our hotel.  We were going to just drive up on Sunday morning, but with the rain we decided it was best to stay over to avoid the stress of having of driving to Pasadena at 3am.

After some yummy pizza & pasta, I got a quick Flat Jenny photo and got my gear ready for the next morning.  The forecast called for 100% chance of rain so I added in my rain jacket.

Our hotel was 2 miles from the Rose Bowl so we left at 5:30am, which was 1.5 hours prior to the start of the race.  I guess I underestimated the time it would take and since we didn’t know the route to the start line, we didn’t realize that the 210 would converge on to the main road to race parking.

I’m not the most patient of people normally and knowing I didn’t have my packet, etc. was really stressing me out.  I think there could have been a little bit more of a police or volunteer presence to direct traffic and I’m sure that next year this issue will be fixed.

Although I will note, there will always be traffic going to the start of a race, it’s just how it is. This isn’t the first race I’ve been to with traffic, it’s just that there wasn’t anyone directing traffic at a major intersection and I think that’s what made it most frustrating.

Moving on, once I jumped out of the car and ran over to the start line area, it was just after 6:30a.  I quickly got my bib and I still had some gear on so I hurried over to gear check to check my extra long sleeve and my track pants.  They had it organized by bib number which was nice.  After the gear check disaster at CIM this was so nice.

I thought I was going to be late to the start but I was fine, about 6:50a when it was all said and done.  I ran into a few of my friends as I was heading to the corrals.  We chatted for a few minutes and then made our way to our respective pacers.  There weren’t corrals per say just pacers holding the pace sticks.

By this point Sean was making his way over to me, he wasn’t running the race but was going to run a few miles while I was running so he could get some photos for me and cheer me on.

Me, Richard, Laurie, Michael & Ivie

He got a few photos of me and some of my fellow Pro Compression ambassadors.  By this point the announcer was telling us that we were probably going to start about 10ish minutes late.  You could tell by the number of cars still coming into the parking lot that it was going to take a bit more time.  I think we finally started around 7:30a, give or take.

Our traditional pre-race selfie :).

And then we were off, I knew almost immediately that I probably shouldn’t have run quite so fast the day before, I was having an issue with my shin/calf muscles feeling super tight right above my ankle bones.

I slogged it out for the first 2 miles up the bigger hills and then just after the Tournament of Roses building, I pulled over to do a quick standing pigeon pose to try and stretch this area out.  That’s when Sean caught up with me and asked me if I was ok.  I didn’t realize he was going to be there so it was a nice surprise :).

I read on social media that a lot of people thought this was a tough and hilly course.  For some reason, after the hill on mile 2, I didn’t think it was that bad.  Again, compared to CIM which seemed like hill after hill after hill, this was a breeze, it felt mostly flat, but with a lot of out and backs. (It might be all the hill training I’m doing that’s making this seem easy too lol).

I just moved along, one step at a time, not really caring too much about my time, just wanting to get to the finish line.  I’m so spoiled getting to run in beautiful places, in San Diego and on beautiful trails around country that running in cities doesn’t really excite me much anymore.

I don’t think the course was bad necessarily, it just wasn’t super exciting with 2 exceptions.  The bridge on mile 9/10 was gorgeous!  That was my absolute favorite part of the whole course.  It didn’t hurt that there was a nice little downhill right after that.

I did however need to make a little pit stop around this point so I popped into one of the many port-a-potties they had near aid stations. I was so wet and so cold by this point I could barely move my fingers.

And then there was just a 5k left to go.  We made our way towards the Rose Bowl stadium and around the golf course and this is where Sean caught up with me again :).

3 miles, 2 miles and then just 1 to go. As we got closer, I could see spectators on the side cheering us into the stadium.  I saw Sean’s pink hat near the entrance and made my way over to the left side so he could get my photo.  And then we were heading down inside the stadium!

I’ve run in stadiums before, Angels stadium during the Disneyland Half, the Bravos spring training field during the Walt Disney World marathon but this was the first time I’ve finished on a field.  It was pretty exciting!

As I was making my way to the finish line, they called my name so up went my arms to cheer myself into the finish!

I got my medal, a quick selfie and then looked around for Sean.  He took a few more photos before we got chastised for not being in the right spots lol.

I headed over to get some bottled water and a space blanket, I was soooo cold! There was a photo opp in the middle of the field but I was so cold, I couldn’t wait in line.  I headed out, grabbed a few snacks: a muscle milk bar, pretzels, gold fish, cheez its and an apple.

By this point all I wanted to do was get warm, but I needed to get my race shirt.  They had Leslie Jordan shirts, which I know run a little big, so I grabbed a small, they had lots of shirts.

I got a bottle of organic muscle milk and then saw a photo op outside the stadium with a much shorter line so I took off my cozy space blanket because I had to look cute for my photo lol.

Overall, I enjoyed the race, with the exception of some minor stress over getting to the start line, I had a great time.  Even with the cold & rain.

Pros: Amazing Medal
Getting to finish on the Rose Bowl field
Race Day Packet pick-up option
Free Photos
Lots of port-a-potties at the start and on course
Awesome volunteers that stood out in the rain to support us

Cons: Parking
Rain & Cold (obviously this isn’t something the race could control)
So many out and backs on the course

Would I run this course again?  I will say it’s a long way to drive for a half marathon, but if it fit into my schedule, I wouldn’t mind trying it again, on a nice sunny normal SoCal winter day.

 

Friday 5 Workouts

As I mentioned in my goal post, one of my goals is to work on strength training and so I am happy to be working with FitApproach & Hedstrom Fitness on their Surge/Kamagon Ball campaign.

From the Hedstrom Fitness website: The Surge® is a specialized training device that utilizes fluid to create a “dynamic” form of resistance. This forces the user to challenge both traditional exercises, as well as sport and activity specific movement patterns. As a result, this training apparetus provides a very unique challenge to the joints and stabilizing structures to resist and control the unpredictable nature of the shifting water within this device.

The Kamagon Ball was designed to bridge the gap in functional fitness training. Most exercises target only an isolated muscle group and seldom teach the body how to utilize the core. The Kamagon Ball automatically eliminates both issues. The Kamagon Ball does more than simply train a group of muscles; it also teaches you how to use your body in the most effective and efficient manner. The Kamagon Ball is a destabilized weight that uses the principle of Hydro-Inertia™ to work your muscles while simultaneously training the nervous system. This is a key to strength, speed and overall fitness.

I just started testing out both the Surge & Kamagon Ball after we got back from Hawaii earlier this week.  I really like the Kamagon Ball, it’s kind of like a kettle bell but a little bigger and you can adjust the weight by adding water.  The ball I have goes from 1 – 13lbs.

Every Friday for the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing a few exercises that you can do using either the Surge or Kamagon Ball.  Since I wasn’t home last week this week you get a bonus video! I know you are super excited!!

In the first Friday 5, the moves I’ll be attempting to do are:

  • Squats with Overhead Press
  • Reverse lunge with oblique twist
  • Standing rows
  • V-Ups
  • Bicep Curls

And for video, the moves I’ll be demonstrating or attempting to demonstrate are:

  • Jump squats
  • Side Lunges
  • Tricep extensions
  • Russian Twists
  • Side Planks

Want to get a Surge or Kamagon Ball for yourself?  Head over to Hedstrom Fitness and you can get a 25% discount by using code: SPHF25 starting today, Jan 20 – Feb 28, 2016.  This discount is valid in either the US or Canada.

Dream Big: 2017 Goals

We are 2 days into 2017 and I’ve already got a lot of things planned for this year.  2016 was a great year and I tested myself by trying new distances like TRT 50 and Cuyamaca 100k.  We traveled all over the place including a few new places, like Chamonix, France & Portland, OR.

What’s in store for 2017? And what do I want to accomplish?

First off, I’ve signed up for my first 100 mile race, San Diego 100 in June.  Yes, I’ll be running 100 miles on June 9 – 10! I am so excited! And so nervous but more excited!

Here’s what is on the schedule for Jan – June (so far, I might look for one or two more short races)

January – Crew Sean at HURT100, Pasadena Half Marathon
February – Sean O’Brien 50k, Black Canyon 100k
March – Griffith Park 50k, LA Marathon
April – Gorge Waterfall 100k, The Canyon Endurance Runs 50k
May – PCT 50, Crew Sean at Cruel Jewel
June – San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half, San Diego 100

That means, I’ve got two half marathons, one full marathon, three 50ks, one 50 miler and two 100ks before the 100 miler = 315 race/training miles. The weekends when we are home I fully intend to be out in Cuyamaca/Julian/Cleveland National Forest to train on the race actual course.

Pretty much all my goals are geared towards getting me to the San Diego 100 finish line.  And then after I’ve accomplished that, I have a few other things I want to work on, but the 100 mile finish line is the ultimate goal for the year.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, what are some of my more specific goals?

  1. Always a big one for me, drink more water.  I’m teaming up with an awesome company to help me reach this goal. I’ll share more about this in a coming blog post.
  2. Strength Training.  Yes, I know I say this every year, but this year it’s more important than ever.  I need to work on my glute strength & hip flexibility in edition to my core.
  3. Hill training, hill training, hill training.  I am not a strong uphill runner so I definitely need to focus on this and getting faster at power hiking.
  4. At least one speed workout a week.  When training for endurance, I tend run a lot of easy runs and while I don’t want to injure myself, pushing myself in at least one run a week isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
  5. Continue with my run streak.  I started a run streak on November 20, I’m up to 43 days so I might as well keep it up and see what happens, right? :).
  6. I ran 1,589 miles/avg. 132.4 miles per month in 2016, I’m setting a goal of 2,000/avg. 166 miles per month for 2017.  That’s a small increase over this year and with 100 mile training, I definitely things it’s doable.
  7. Continue to work on my long run nutrition, I love using CarboPro for the majority of my calories, but I’m hoping to incorporate more real food, like GoMacro bars, potatoes and experimenting with other things.
  8. Eat smaller more frequent meals.  I used to follow a plan religiously, last year, I was pretty lazy, I stopped eating breakfast, started drinking too much coffee and not enough water.  First order of business, start eating breakfast and healthy snacks.
  9. Eat more vegetables.  I’m not a huge fan of cold food, except ice cream, Jamba Juice Smoothies and popsicles of course lol.  I have a hard time choosing a salad over something hot, but I will start to do so.
  10. After SD100 I definitely want to work on my speed on both the trail and road.  I’m targeting the November Revel Canyon City Marathon for a new marathon PR.

That’s a lot of things, most of which I should be doing already, but sometimes you need a little push to get back to basics.  Basically it’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable!

And away we go! Let’s do this!

What are your goals for 2017?

Rabbit Conejo Review & Instagram Giveaway

Happy New Year, friends!!  Here’s to a fabulous 2017!

To kick off the year, I’m reviewing the new Conejo crop pant from my friends at Rabbit!

A few weeks ago, I reviewed the sleevie wonder, Rabbit’s super soft long sleeve shirt.  Which I liked so much I’ve already gotten a second one.

This time I’m talking about the Conejo, Rabbit’s long awaited crop pant.  Rabbit is a Santa Barbara based company founded by 2 amazing women & runners, Monica & Jill. Rabbit gear is manufactured in Los Angeles, CA.

From the Rabbit website:

Crops are pretty great as-is, so we didn’t really reinvent the wheel here.  But, we did make a perfect fitting, moisture wicking, flattering, uber comfortable, and cute as can be crop that you will love. The conejos are made from material that’s the perfect weight, so they’re great for almost any running or lounging scenario.

– Magical combination of 87% poly/ 13% spandex
– Medium weight fabric (370gm) to wick away moisture
– Rear zip pocket located in mid-back of waistband
– Dual front internal pockets
– Crop; designed to hit at the calf
– Four way stretch for maximum comfort – rabbitMESH knee venting
– Reflective rabbit logo detail
– Machine wash cold, tumble dry low, don’t bleach, mmkay?
– Made in California, USA

I got the all black pair so I could match them with anything, but the Conejos come in several color combos. Black & Cabaret (Hot Pink), Black & Charcoal Heather (grey) and Dress Blues Heather & Black.

The all black has rabbit mesh on the waist band and the knee venting. The Conejos have a decent sized zippered back pocket and 2 front pockets. There’s even a reflective little rabbit logo on the right leg. I love these little details.

It doesn’t get horribly cold down here in San Diego so I don’t need to wear crops very often, but the Conejos are super comfortable, you barely feel like you are wearing anything at all.  They are super lightweight, but can also keep you warm.  I wore them in the snow & 30 degree temps last week and didn’t feel cold at all.

I got the size medium and for the most part they fit perfectly.  I feel like I might be in between a small & a medium because the legs fit absolutely perfectly and when walking around the waist fits great.  When I run, I do on occasion have to pull at the waist.  After I washed them, it seemed to be a little better, but the only downsize to the Conejos is that there isn’t a drawstring at the waist to prevent this.

All in all, this isn’t a huge deterrent because they are so comfortable and the fact that they kept me warm in the snow was such a plus.

Now for the fun stuff…Want to try the Conejos or other Rabbit gear for yourself?  Head over to https://www.runinrabbit.com/ and use code runnylegs to save 20%.

Want to win a pair of Conejos?  Check out my Instagram post from today.  Make sure you follow me and @runinrabbit and tell us in the comments your what your 2017 goal is.  That’s it, super easy and my friends at Rabbit will pick the winner.  Contest will run until Friday, Jan 6, 2017 at 11:59pm.