Sunday, October 21, 2012

Aqua Gear

Anyone who has been reading this blog for more than one post, knows I am prone to injury. It sucks. I haven't solved the problem yet, but I am finding more ways to keep going when I am forbidden, by Jesse, from running. One of my favorite alternative ways to burn, is to get wet. Putting my head in the water still freaks me out, so my swimming lacks a little something, but I do love water running. Yes, it can get boring (although, not as much if you watch the water aerobics class and gawk at the "real" swimmers) and it's cold in the morning, but I just can't beat the benefits. My hip doesn't hurt and it really stretches out the plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Awesome!

So, between Jesse's "real" swimming and my water running, we hit the pool 4-5 days a week and it seemed like a perfect fit when Aqua Gear asked us to do review of a few of their products. To be honest, I had never heard of Aqua Gear before. Usually, I settled on getting our water needs from Amazon or Big 5, settling on their low selection because I didn't know where else to go. Enter Aqua Gear.
AquaGear® Swim Shop

Really, all you need to know about them is that AquaGear Swim Shop is a family owned and operated boutique with a focus on fast, responsive, and helpful customer service, which I experienced first hand. They were great to work with, and helpful in choosing the products we should review.  Founded in 1992 by Joanne Bullock, an Aquatic Personal Trainer, Life Guard, and Swimming Instructor, this swim store has gained a substantial following in the aquatic community for it's unique selection, and commitment to the highest level of customer service. Didn't know it before, but I do now! 

The hard task came when we needed to choose our products, and that is only because they had such a huge selection of lots of different products. Things I never would have thought of trying before, I now had access to. My browsing led to water weights. Brilliant! Just what I needed to step up my water workouts. I was sold. Because my legs aren't the strongest, I went with the Water Gear Aquatic Ankle Weight in the 3lb per pair option.  Like a dork, when they arrived I tried them on and strutted around the house. I looked pretty hot. They were easy to snap on and adjust, which I knew would be handy for putting them on in the pool (and it was). I liked the way they felt and nothing rubbed or hurt walking around so it was time to dive into the pool. It was easy to put them on in the pool and I started off, sticking to the shallow end since that is our pool's rule, and I instantly noticed the impact they were going to have on my workout. The extra resistance was perfect. I proceeded to run, high knee, butt kick, and jump my way up and down the lane. My little leggies were already more tired than they had ever been after a pool workout. Love! Now, I take them every time. They are the perfect way to step up boring water running, and they also have lots of other water exercise options. Sweating in the water is just so much fun!

Now, I will throw it to Track Coach, whom by the way just the Head Coaching job in Onalaska so send him a congrats! Hi there, long time no write... So thanks to the wonderful folks at AquaGear, I got a brand new pair of goggles. I got a pair of Speedo Air Seal Tri Goggles currently listed for $19.99. They were probably the most comfortable goggles I have ever worn! They seal very easily and stay sealed and are good for long sessions in the pool or lake. I also really liked the wider peripheral vision the goggles allowed. I could definitely see that being a bonus during a race. One note, the nose piece is not adjustable and I found it to be fairly wide so I would caution you about these goggle if you happen to have a narrow face as a couple of my swim buddies have (they tried them and had a hard time getting the goggles to seal). However, since I would consider my face to be medium, and they worked like a charm. I would say these goggles would work perfectly for anybody that has a medium to wide set eyes and would like to have a pair of goggles they don't have to worry about during a long swim session or a triathlete looking for a good solid set of goggles.

Right now is the perfect time to get to know AquaGear better, they are having a 40% off inventory sale! Yippee! Check them out here and/or like them on FB here and tell them Track Coach and Adorable Wife sent ya! I also want to mention a few other really great things about them. First, they have an A+ rating from the BBB. That's huge to me. I want to know I can trust a company before I use them, and the BBB is like a million good reviews! Second, third, and fourth, they do same day shipping (plus free shipping on orders over $75), they do a price match up to 30 days after purchase, and (this is fantastic) easy returns up to 60 days post purchase, no questions asked. So big for online shopping!  Seriously, check them out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How You Doin?

So, yes, I have been missing for quite a while and the reason is I was preparing for my big Fall Craft Show. I try not to do too many of these shows because they kind of take over my life and the hubs doesn't enjoy that so much. It is a lot, but I enjoy creating new things, so it is fun for once in a while! I was quite proud because I still managed to get 3 workouts in last week, which I usually fail to do the week of a show! Anyways, so here is what I have been up to, what about you?
P.S. Colleen was so cute and nice and asked if I had a website for my items, and I do have a shop on etsy and a fb page ! Thanks for liking my hobby!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life overload!

These past few weeks have been so full of awesomeness that I can barely wrap my adorable head around it! There was Chelan Man, a few days at the lake, the EPIC S2S relay, a charity garage sale for Autism Speaks, and some big birthdays (including coach turning 27!) so much to write about, do little time. The boys will be starting school next week, which I hope translates into more blogging time!

For now, I just want to say thanks to everyone who made this past month or so possible; teammates, sponsors, and especially the grandparents who watched our youngens when taking them along wasn't possible! I really loved it all and have many more weekends of excitement ahead, including a Mariners game Saturday benefiting Autism. Should be "interesting" with all the kids, we may need more luck than the Mariners, nah!

A preview of things to come!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three things Thursday

1. Today is going to be a twofer day. I actually got up and ran this morning (what?) and still have VERY good intentions of running again tonight. My hope is to acclimate my body to running more than once a day for the relay. Kind of short notice to my body as the relay is next weekend, but some is better than none right?

2. I am trying to get as prepared as possible for the non-running parts of the relay, and my stomach is almost in constant knots thinking of what else I could do or bring. Maybe my hope is that if I bake enough different kinds of "healthy" cookies it will make up for the fact that I may very well have to walk some in my legs :( Sad, right? Jesse always compares me to Monica from "Friends" where I like to bake for other's affection. Worked so far.

Looks just like that!
3. This weekend I will be too busy to do much relay prep as it is Logger's Jubilee. It's Jesse's hometown hick festival complete with lawn mower races, log rolling, and a 10k. I was hoping to join Jesse in the 10k this year as a tune up for the relay, but injuries always prevail! Instead I will be downgrading to the ever casual 2 mile fun run. Let's just hope I survive it, and, of course, the street dance that night! We will also be taking in the local theater's production of Wizard of Oz. It promises to be a great night!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Running for Our Lives!

Last weekend I died. So did Jesse. But, this time, death was fun. Getting eaten by zombies is always a good time. I guess that technically means we are both zombies now. Better watch yourself!
I managed not to get nervous for this event until the morning of. It was never a "race" for me, but an experience. Costumes were a must, although my ideas were lacking, so we ended up being a seventies type couple who got attacked at a dance. Which translates to a trip to goodwill where funky clothes were bought and then ripped up. Still, I dug our look, especially Jesse's jacket!
Riley and Brady apparently wanted in the pic!

When you get there, you can hear the screams echoing through the forest and the zombie sounds that proceeded them. We watched the other waves a bit, and had a good giggle, and then got ourselves checked in. After we got all tagged up...
Do we look scared?

We headed to the start. They had 3 separate chutes, appetizer, entree, and dessert. Based on my slow mile time, we ended up in the dessert chute, but next time I would move into the entree because there was way too much walking in the beginning. The course weaved it's way through a bmx course and in spots was very narrow, hence the getting stuck behind people and walking. My expectations were nil. I didn't know if zombies would follow us the whole time or jump out at us or what the obstacles would be like. Our biggest goal was to come out alive vs getting through it fast. My inside my head goal was to not have to have Jesse help me through any obstacles!

Once we got rolling, I was so paranoid about keeping an eye out for zombies, I didn't look down like I should and tripped on the trail, a lot, tweaking my ankle a few times. We made it to the first obstacle without any encounters and made it through the electrical shock house unscathed, but once we exited, came the first field of zombies. They looked pretty awesome, but there were a lot. Jesse and I took off in different directions and sprinted and juked our way past the first bunch. This is how the rest of the race would progress. Groups of zombies to sprint and twirl through, Jesse got a really good spin move down, and then we would walk to the next obstacle. Flat out sprinting in that heat was hard. We were both sweating a ton, like it was rolling into my mouth, but I was too dirty to wipe my face.

The obstacles were never a huge challenge, I even made it over the walls by myself, it was definitely the zombie crowds that posed the threat to my success. By mile one, we still had all our flags ( we started with 3 and the zombies could take one at a time) and were thus feeling pretty good about our survival chances. But that didn't last long. A ways up the trail we got hit by a few in a narrow spot and we both lost a flag.

Since the zombies were attacking us mob style, we decided to do the same to them. A bunch of us would gather up and then run through them together to increase our chances of survival. At one point we caught up to a group who gave out a loud "quack, quack, quack, quack" a la mighty ducks style before they headed into the fray. It was pretty hilarious! I don't know how effective this tactic ended up being as only one person in this large group survived. Maybe had we actually done flying v to protect those with flags, it would have worked better.

By mile 2 I only had one flag left, and it was soon stolen by a speedy blonde zombie seeking revenge for a group that got past her untouched. We did start to notice that the "better" zombies were near the end of the course. They really like to hit ya when you are down, and tired, and muddy. I really thought Jesse might make it, I think he did too, but after successfully making it to the second or third last mob, someone got it, and his junk. He was probably more bummed then he let on, I know he is competitive, but we were almost done, so there wasn't time to pout. We held hands down the slide into the muddy water and crawled under the electric fence (the only spot where my dress gave me trouble) and headed toward the finish line for the dead.

I felt gross and happily let them spray me with the big hose, but it barely made a dent. We tried to clean up and at least put fresh clothes on. Next time I will make sure to bring baby wipes or something, what was I thinking? Jesse wanted to seek his revenge on the zombies, and tried his hand at the Subaru zombie challenge...
Slingshot zombies into graves...
roll tire through graveyard, and finish with a dunk tank. He lost :(

I really had a lot of fun at this event. Next year, I definitely want to be a zombie! We saw lots of great zombies, some of our faves were...

-the barista
-the sleeper (complete with robe and slippers)
-the prom court
-the nanny (with a child strapped to her)
-the nurse (just trying to help the affected I bet)

ok, that's all I can remember! But there were other good ones. I hope they have it in Ony again. Getting a group together would be a ton of fun. Did you race this weekend? How did it go? Have you ever done an obstacle race? What did you think?

Friday, August 3, 2012


I can only think in bullets today, so that's how I'll post.

• Tomorrow is my first ever obstacle race, the Run For Yours zombie 5k obstacle course in my hometown of Onalaska, WA. What? Never heard of it? I'm shocked! I've been so focused on the relay, I haven't really had time to get too nervous, or excited about this race. But Jesse and I will have some sweet outfits. Here is a bit of a sneak peak...

• After the disappointment of Tuesdays run, I was anxious to push myself the next night. We had some unexpected guests and I got on the mill later than I wanted, but i was able to get my fastest 2 miles ever, 24:09, which included my two min walk warm up. Satisfied? Yes!

• Two weeks removed from the relay and the nerves are really kickin in. I have had repeated nightmares about not packing properly or leaving late. It's all for fun, but I still want to make sure I show up!

• The Olympics are actually getting me down. We just don't have time to watch them like we wish and therefore are missing the cool obscure sports and interviews. What happened to the days when we couldn't find enough coverage to watch? Oh yeah, 3 kids!

• Speaking of TV, our new obsession is Franklin and Bash. Zachary Morris is all grown up and funny! Of course, it's viewing is on hold till post Olympics.

• Our race tomorrow says to be prepared for mud, water, latex, and small electrical shocks. Should Jesse and I get a taser tonight so we can practice?

How was your week? Any advice for my upcoming races? I appreciate all tips! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Even when you suck...

Or at least you THINK you suck, on a run, ride, swim, etc. you are still doing SOMEthing! This was my lesson last night and it was hard one to sink into my thick skull.

I don't like doing things I'm not not quickly good at. My low self confidence apparently can't take it. sports was always a go to activity. Because I was always fairly natural at all the sports the PE teacher used to throw at us, I made my identity one of an athlete. I am slowly, and painfully, learning that running is not like other sports. It seems I was wise to dread the conditioning at practice. Coordination I have, iron lungs I do not!

Still, I have been SLOWLY improving, and feeling good about it and last nights run just felt like a slap in the face. Let me paint ya little picture- its a warm evening, around 6, and I want to get in a quick 3 miles before my sister arrives to play games. I have convinced Jesse to run with me and push the kids, so we take off from our front door. My goal is to get down to 12 min miles by the relay, and based on a run last week with two sub 13 miles that included some walking, I feel this is totally doable! Despite the heat, I tick off the first mile in 12:09, but fear I am fading fast. It's not my legs, but stomach that wants me to give up. That "you are gonna puke or poop" feeling hits and I can't shake it. The next two miles are slow and hold no enjoyment for me. I run too slow, walk too slow, even push the cross walk buttons too slow. Despite how awful I feel, I am super glad Jesse is with me or the run might even look worse! I finally get my sorry butt to our street, my always designated stopping point, look at my time and almost cry. The second and third miles took me 27 min to finish. Awful. I felt AWFUL. Jesse tried to compliment me, but it fell on deaf, sweaty ears.

I never felt like I would have been better off not running, it was just having this dark cloud of disappointment raining down on me did nothing for my spirits the rest of the night. I began planning out the rest of the weeks runs, hoping in one of those outings my magic results from all my hard work would find me. They certainly weren't around for this run. But as the night wore on, and my spirits were lifted by a rousing game of progressive rummy (which I won! Booya) I came to the realization that running is hard. Maybe for a few thousand out there, it comes easy, but for the rest of us, it will take work. Every run won't be better than the last. If getting out the door is half the battle for you, and just finishing is the other half, than even a run like last night's makes you a complete winner. So, the wheel of morality tells me, I'm a WINNER! It also says tonight's run will be better. Thanks wheel.