Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Introducing you to the Wonderful World of StitchFix!

Today I am taking a break from talking about running to talking all about my Stitchfix #4!

 I do wear other clothes besides running gear!  I love shopping but hate going to crowded malls;  I am the FASTEST shopper you will ever meet, that is a promise, I try to find what I like, try it on if necessary and bolt out of the store.  Unfortunately, by doing this, I tend to stick with the same boring staples every time. I heard about Stitchfix earlier this year when my friend (and coach for Saucony 26 Strong) Angela, posted a review on her blog +Angela (@happyfitmama.)  I clicked on her referral link and was hooked!  Stitchfix is a really cool service;  you fill out a style profile, a lifestyle profile (i.e. are you a mom? do you need mostly clothing for the office, etc), add in your measurements and add comments on what you would like to avoid and see.  You pay $10 for each Stitchfix and a stylist will take your measurements, style profile and lifestyle profile and put together five clothing items (usually one accessory) and send them to you.  Once they arrive in the mail, you can try them on and then have three days to decide if you want to keep the items.  If you keep all five items, you get 25% off the total cost plus $20 off for the styling credit. You can keep whatever you like (still get the $20 off) and return whatever you don't like in a prepaid mailing envelope.  You can schedule monthly fixes or schedule them at random.  Tonight, I received my fourth fix!   Check out their full site here!  
Here are some reasons why I love Stitchfix:

1. I don't have to go to the mall or the outlets
2. I get sent clothes that I normally would never think of trying on; it's fun to experiment with different looks
3. I feel like my stylist is magical; all of the clothes always seem to fit perfectly and she seems to be on point with my taste in clothes.  Except for the jewelry I get sent sometimes...that is not such a hit with me.  
4. It's like Christmas when you receive a Stitchfix in the mail; you can "peek" into your account when the fix gets shipped to see what you will be receiving or you can wait and be surprised. 

I've had a lot of luck with the other three fixes;  I told my stylist that I mostly wear clothes for the office and that I have a wild two year old that never stops moving.  On average, I have kept at least three of the items- with the second fix, I kept all five!

Tonight, I received the following in my box:
1.  A gold pendant necklace with a  turquoise/jade (something fake) stone- sent back; it looked kind of chintzy and I tend to stick to such fancy jewelry as running watches 

2.  A blue and white striped shirt dress- kept; I was on the fence about this one, it does look like another dress that I have...and a sweater...and another shirt BUT it was super comfortable and fit really well.  Plus, I am clearly a sucker for blue and white stripes.

3.  A printed drawstring dress (Ikat print)- sent back; it was cute but it was very similar to another dress that I happened to be wearing today.  In fact, when I was packaging up my Stitchfix box to return the items, I accidentally put the dress in that I had been wearing today! Oops!

4.  A silver/grey shell/tank top- kept; I don't have a lot of dressy tank tops and this top would be perfect for Summer or Fall (w. a cardigan.)  

5. Black cigarette pants "London" style- kept; really comfortable, surprisingly long enough and fit really well.  I could wear these for work or as a casual look.

Here are the pictures of the things I kept!

    Want to sign up for Stitchfix? Here's my referral link!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Six03 Summerfest 10k!

Angela is in a Six03 Sandwich!

Today was the my first 10k of the year; I love the distance but there just aren't a lot around in New Hampshire.  I usually do one in August (Saunders at 10k) and had been doing one in Durham (Bobcat Bolt) but the Durham race did away with their 10k this year.  The Six03 Summerfest was an inaugural race put on by the amazing guys who started Six03 (the running club that I run with.)  Check them out here- it's such an encouraging, motivating group of fun people!

  Back in February, Six03 announced that they would be hosting and planning a 10k for the Dover Race Series; I was so excited that I registered in March!  Pretty soon, the course map was put up looked pretty hilly and daunting.  A couple of weeks ago, Mariette, Angela and I ran the course preview with some other Six03 members (or a modified version..we sort of missed part of the last group of hills..but definitely confirmed that it was a hilly course!)  Everyone joked that it would be a great race to PR in- if it were your first 10k!

   Race morning, the three of us met up and drove over to the race together and got our race packets.  All of the volunteers were friendly, organized and high-energy; the packet pick-up itself was also super organized!  The weather was perfect (around 73 degrees) but the humidity was pretty high- we did about a mile warm-up and I was already hot!
    We lined up towards the front, I put myself behind Angela and Mariette because they are definitely faster and I didn't want to try and keep up with them for the race start.  The race started right on time and even had a guitarist do the anthem.
   The first mile is mostly downhill with a slight uphill towards the end;  I forgot that whole thing about 'pacing' myself and ended up doing the first mile in 6:45. Yikes.  The second mile is a steady uphill with some downhill and flat sections;  I thankfully slowed my pace down when I realized that this was not a 5k and I still had 4+ miles of hills ahead of me. The 2nd mile was 7:25- I had to gulp water at the water stop.  The 3rd mile was when I really started to curse inside of my head;  the humidity was getting to me, there were rolling hills and I felt like I was going to get sick- blah.  This part of the course was an out and back which was probably good because it kept me running instead of lying in the road; also, I knew that my friends would be running by soon and I wanted to cheer.  The 3rd mile was 8:25 (not doing great at this negative split thing!)  By the 4th mile (8:35), I was getting dizzy and overheated; I had to stop and drink two glasses of water which helped.  I had to walk for a tenth of a mile and then found two guys to run behind who were doing exactly an 8:55 pace.   This really helped because I just focused on slowing myself down and staying behind them.  At mile 5 (9:05),  I was feeling much better (had two more glasses of water at the water stop) and got down to an 8:30 pace.  Then came the 1st of 2 hills before the finish line; the 1st hill was super steep, I was still shouting obscenities inside of my head and asking why I had been so excited to sign-up for this race; luckily, I saw my friend Kim and while I couldn't get enough energy out besides a "hi," it was a big help to have her there to run alongside.  We made it to the 2nd (and last hill together);  it was so steep that Six03 actually put a timing mat at the bottom of the hill and would award "King and Queen of the Mountain" to the fastest male and female that made it up the hill!

Mariette's husband Jeremiah took pictures, thanks Jeremiah!  I was glad to see him but so ready to be done...and beat Mr. Bandanna.

I made it up the hill in 3:26 and pushed myself through the finish in 53:47, definitely not a PR but I was happy with my time considering how hilly it was. Mariette and Angela were already finished and I couldn't even get a word out because I was so dizzy and tired.  My friend Karla was volunteering at the finish and I was so excited to see her but could only muster up a "must. sit.drink. now."  I drank a ton of water and finally was able to be normal.  Mariette got 2nd in our age group (and got a pretty sweet silver belt buckle!) and Angela wasn't far behind Mariette with 6th in our age group.  
  The after race party was so much fun; there was a frozen greek yogurt truck, oranges/bagels, a Hoka One One demo stand and a huge beer tent.  I wanted to stay all day but had plans to go shopping with mom. 
  Alex and Tom with Six03 did an amazing job- it was such a well-organized race with tons of spirit and great volunteers.  I will probably not be able to walk tomorrow but I can't wait to  do this one next year! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

TomTom Runner Cardio Watch (bye bye Garmin!)

Yay for new running gear!!  My birthday is coming up and my husband asked what I wanted for my day;  I had been eyeing this watch for a couple of weeks.  It was perfect timing as my (sometimes) trusty pink Garmin was on its last miles (bad pun intended.)  The Garmin had a hard time picking up a satellite signal and had a very short battery life.   I was really interested in this watch as it has a built in heart rate monitor (no pesky strap!) and it measures your cadence,  pace, distance and elevation gain.   It also allows you to train in certain heart rate zones and race yourself compared to past routes.  It's functional jewelry!

The watch!   The green light is the built in heart rate monitor

The TomTom watch arrived early and of course, I didn't want to wait until my actual birthday to open it up and take it for a run!  The set-up was pretty easy once I read the directions; I had to charge the watch overnight (it has up to 10 hours of battery life!)  I played with the watch before test-running it;  I love the big display and despite it being noticeably larger than my Garmin, it feels lighter.
   I took the TomTom out for a run at lunch today; usually, it takes at least 5 minutes for my Garmin to get a signal.  With the TomTom, it had a signal within 2 seconds of hitting the 'go' button! The green light turned on immediately for the heart rate monitor.  As I didn't read the directions in-depth, I forgot to program in my weight, age and height.  The watch had me automatically defaulted to a 5'11, 167lb. man (who was 64.)    Throughout the run, I could clearly read my heart rate, pace, distance and time.  It was nice to have all my stats on one screen.  After the run, (again, because I didn't read directions), I had no idea how to stop the run and save the data.  I didn't figure out how to stop the watch until 5 minutes after ending...and it was by accident (turns out you have to hold down a button for 5 seconds.)  
   I read the directions when I got back to my desk and ended up programming my height, weight, sex and age into the watch.   I uploaded my data from this afternoon's run easily onto the TomTom activity (all based on me being a tall, thin 64 year old male.)  The heart rate zone had me in the 'speed' zone but my average cadence was pretty synonymous to what my PT had calculated during a running trial (around 176.)  
   Now that my watch is programmed, I am excited to try it again (as a younger, shorter female!)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Music and Running!

My friend Nikki and me at the April Fool's 4 miler; we are both made 4-mile specific play lists for this run! Nikki's playlist may or may not have contained Hanson.  Mine may or may not have contained a Boyz II Men song. 

I love music and I love running;  a lot of my friends do not run with music at all and a lot of my friends can only run if they have music playing.  I am in the middle;  I prefer to use music during a race as it helps my concentration,  pacing and stamina!  For obvious reasons, I do not run with music when I'm running with friends or during early morning/late night runs.
   When I run solo, I also try to alternate using music so that I don't always rely on it to get me through runs.

  For races, I take my race playlists very seriously!  For faster races (5ks-10ks), I include a lot of upbeat, tempo songs.  For half marathons, I include a lot of songs that I can zone out to;  for my marathon training, I will definitely be doing the same.  
   Here's what I currently have on my 5k play list- don't laugh!!!  If you're looking for new running songs, the one's highlighted are recommended!

1. Out on the Town- Fun.
2. Mr. Blue Sky- ELO
3. I Ain't Mad at Cha- Tupac
4.Without You- David Guetta
5.FU-GEE-LA- The Fugees
6.*ok, I am SUPER embarrassed about this one but trust me, it's a good running song*-  Rhythm of my Heart- Rod Stewart
7.Titanium- Sia
8.If, Nasty and Rhythm Nation -Janet Jackson
9.Freedom- George Michael
10. Numb- Linkin Park/Jay-Z
11. Best Friend- Foster the People
12. Chandelier- Sia
13. 100% Pure Love- Crystal Waters
14. Love Runs Out- OneRepublic
15.I Wanna Get Better (RZA Remix)- Bleachers
16. Gold Guns Girls- Metric
17. New Speedway Boogie- Grateful Dead
18. Stolen Dance- Milky Chance
19. In the Air Tonight- Phil Collins
20. Shark Attack- Group Love
21. Taken for a Fool- the Strokes
22. Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (stop laughing!!!)- Phil Collins
23. Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg- TLC
24. Doses and Mimosas- Cherub

Do you run with music?  Any music suggestions for my 5k/10k list? What are the most embarrassing songs on your playlist?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Hills are Alive....

*Not my picture, found this on Google of the place where I ran this weekend- it was much better than my photos!*

This weekend,  the family went to New York to visit the in-laws; they live about an hour west of NYC. Their community is in a super small, very hilly town.  I always think about where I can run before I go on a trip and I knew beforehand that I would have to be creative with my runs this weekend!  Reason being, their house is located really close to a busy, all downhill, with no shoulder and no side streets. Their house however, is very close to a wooded trail that connects to the recreation area with a surrounding hilly road.  I was actually excited to be forced to run a very hilly route, it's definitely not something I get to do on the Seacoast and I definitely believe it helps my overall running!  Also, I love being in the mountains, it reminds me of Germany!  I actually prefer the mountains over the beach.  I don't think I will be signing up for any ultra trail-runs any time soon but I would like to continue to do more trail/hill runs in the near future. 

**This IS my photo- my family lived in Germany when I was in middle school and Freshman year of high school, it's so beautiful!**

My workout(s) from Sunday and Monday- I don't usually do the same workout two days in a row but I was limited w. running options!

5 min warmup: 9:30 pace
2 minute up-hill climb at 8:30 pace
1x 12 minute at 6:00 min mile pace
2 minutes of cool-down pace (following each running sprint)- 930-10:00 min mile pace
10 minute cool down (8:45 pace.)

Overall, I felt great, I was definitely tired during the uphill climbs but I made sure to keep my recovery pace slow.  

Love this article from Jenny Hadfield of Runner's World on hill running!!  How to Love Hills

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hi! My name is Kailey and I decided to start my own running blog to document my training towards my first marathon in December.  This isn't just any marathon, it's the Honolulu marathon!  I am lucky to be a part of the Saucony 26 Strong Project as a cadet, training with the direction of my coach, Angela (follow her at @happyfitmama.)   That's Angela and me on the far left with our friends Mariette and Karen at the Seacoast 1/2 Marathon last year.

Angela is a pretty big deal in the blogging/running world and she was picked by Saucony and Competitor Magazine, along with 13 other experienced marathoners/social media running personalities to act as coaches for the '26 Strong Project.'  The coaches get to mentor and train 13 'cadets' who have never run a marathon before.   Angela picked me as her cadet and I jumped (more like ran around the house screaming) at the chance!  Saucony and Competitor Magazine hooked us up with awesome Saucony gear, are following our training and are flying us out to Honolulu, HI in December for our first marathon!  Pinch me!!!

A year ago, whenever anyone asked me if I had any interest in running a marathon, I'd tell them that I was perfectly content sticking with a half marathon.  A half-marathon is challenging enough....but add 13 more miles!?!?  I have to admit, I'm pretty nervous about the distance....but there was a time when even a 10k sounded like a long way.

  Over the next few months (and after), I will document my training, fun and motherhood with this guy!!