Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mizuno Winner and Albion Fit Giveaway!

I hope you had a great weekend.  Mine was taken over by a lot of errands but it was beautiful beautiful weather here.   I did a terrible long run on Saturday (I went slower than slow and stopped about 1000 times.  Weird because the rest of the week's running went well).  I also went on a bike ride today.  On the beach.
Pics or it didn't happen?  

Oh it totally happened.

Mizuno Contest Winner!  

Thank you for all of your entries!!!  It was so fun to read about the bright things you own.   I really wish Mizuno would let me give shoes to everyone but I guess that would be a bad business practice.  Anyways, the winner of the giveaway is:
NATALIE TORRES!   Time for you to start wearing Elixirs and Inspires!  Email me!  I'll try to track you down as well.  Congrats!!

More Giveaway Stuff!  (Where I pretend to be a fashion blogger)

Apologies to those of you who find giveaways boring.  I get it.  I  probably won't do another for 6 months after this one, it was just random that I got two cool opportunities that I wanted to do at once. 

A couple weeks back, a representative of Albion Fit contacted me about trying their items and doing a giveaway.  I'd never heard of them so I checked out their site.

Turns out it's pretty cute stuff!  I think the style of their stuff is...Retro 50s meets Lululemon meets Mod Cloth.   I actually especially like their bathing suits section.  Albion Fit is also family-owned and they state on their site that they have a commitment to sustainable business practices.  All good stuff.  For these reasons (as well as the reason of "Hell yeah I want you to send me a cute shirt!"), I am happy to do a giveaway for their products and share information about them.

Here's the item that I chose off the site to try and what you can win.  I'd consider it a layering basic that could work for everything from light workouts to a casual work environment to brunch with friends.

The Go-Long Crew with Thumbholes in Rust

I really like this shirt.  It's ridiculously soft to the point that I slept in this the first night I got it (Ok sometimes I'm just to lazy to change into PJs as well).  I think the shirt is pretty flattering and I like the longer cut to it.  While it's billed as a workout top, I'd definitely consider it more of a lounging around watching TV / stretching the night before a race/ light yoga kind of shirt.  You COULD run in it, but I don't think I will.   It also comes in white, grey, and purple.  I can't speak to the longevity of the product as I've only had it about a week, but I'm really hoping it holds up for a long time!

Sooooo who wants a cute long-sleeve tee?   Here's how you play:

1 Entry = Comment.  Tell me about your favorite comfy clothes.  (Ok you don't have to do that, but it's fun to read the comments!).

1 Entry = Follow Albion Fit on Twitter and Tweet at me (@fasterbunny and @albionfit).

1 Entry = Like Albion Fit on Facebook.

It would be awesome if you could comment in the 1) 2) 3) format so I can easily count as well.

Giveaway ends Monday, February 25th at midnight PST.  

PS:  Even if you don't win, you can take $15 off a purchase of $50 or more at Albion Fit using the code fasterbunny15 until March 3rd, 2013!   Hope you like their stuff!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ragnar Track Adventures

Thanks for all of your entries in the Mizuno Elixir Contest!  I haven't picked a winner yet but I will get to it in time for my next entry.   And I'll try not to be super lazy about it.

Ragnar Track Party 

Since I moved to LA, I've been doing 95% of my workouts on the treadmill.  Which...honestly, makes no real sense.  I live in one of the most beautiful and easy to run in climates in the country.  I don't have any kids to watch at home.  I live pretty close to a lot of running paths...and...the one treadmill I have access to really sucks.  It's hard for me to even swing my arms the right way because the front bar gets in the way.

But I've been doing it anyways.  Mostly because I doubt my ability to run workouts by myself.  And once I start running a few workouts on the treadmill the doubting voice in my head tells me I can't run the same quality outside.

It took SarahOual's idea of having a track party where we meet in the middle between Orange County and LA and my friend Gisele's constant offers of "COME RUN WITH US ON THE CSU LONG BEACH TRACK!!" to get me back out.

So that's what we've done.  I've now been there three times.

Running at the Cal State Long Beach track is a funny experience for several reasons:

1) It's Unlit:  Or in the words of Sarah, it's "Ragnar Track".  Which means it's pitch black except for random stadium lights from a soccer field a few hundred yards away.  This promotes a complete "deer in headlights" syndrome where I can't see anything at the same part of the track each lap.  I also can't check my splits very well which is weird for me as I like to check track splits every 200 meters.

2)  There are Massive Amounts of Small Children: They hang out at this track running laps in what are apparently "track leagues for 5 year olds after dark".    They are cute but it's also kind of weird/unexpected.   You could not have paid me enough to hang out at a track when I was that age.

3)  The Track Kind of Sucks.  The surface is really hard and was probably constructed during the Reagan administration   It's actually kind of sad that California is so broke as a joke that they can't finance a halfway decent track for one of their larger universities.

Oh yeah, about the workouts. 

Last Thursday, I met Sarah and Kristina for a track workout that I'd never done before in my life.  2 sets of 8x400 meters with one minute rest between each repeat and three minutes rest between each set.  It was actually surprisingly fun and not like a death march.  We started our paces around 1:42 for the 400s and gradually decreased ended with a 1:28.  By the end I wanted to semi die but not completely.  Right where I want to be.

Sarah and Kristina couldn't make it this week, so I had to decide whether I would stay home....OR get my ass kicked running the workout with my friend Gisele who runs 1:28 half marathons like it's flipping burgers.  I decided on the ass-kicking, of course.

I met Gisele and another friend of hers at the track and they told me they were doing 3x1600 meters. So I did them too.   By the time I was 400 meters into my first repeat with them, I was dropped.  I figured I could run around 6:30s for my miles and those two speed demons had to be running at least 6 flat.  Needless to say, I spent most of the workout thinking "DON'T LET THEM GET MORE THAN 100 meters in front of you!!!!"

Of course, I failed every time.  Dream big though, right?

We finished the first two repeats (mine were around 6:32 each I believe) and it was time for the last one.  I rounded the first corner of my first lap and like each time before, I was blinded by the stadium lights and also trying to dodge small children milling around on the track.  "Track!", I yelled, in an attempt to not bulldoze a tyke.  Just like they had in the first two 1600 meter repeats when I'd passed them, the kids responded with a combination of heckling and cheering.   Pretty much none of them ever moved though.

I went through the 800 meter mark around 3:13 and rounded the giant headlights/child area again.  The kids were lined up to run a repeat.  I passed them and ran about 150 meters until I could hear some little kids who started after I passed catching up to me.  "Damn, these kids are gonna pass me," I thought!

"Tracccckk", I hear behind me in some little kids voice.  I chuckled to myself between the hard breathing.  The kids were learning!  I moved into lane two to let two little girls pass me.  Of course, I was not about to let anymore 2nd graders kick my butt after those two and picked up the pace until the lap finished.  I was counting on the fact that these kids couldn't be running more than about 300 meter intervals.  Yes, this is what it's come to.  I race elementary schoolers.

I went into my last lap, safe from being chased down by toddlers and back to my original focus of not losing sight of Gisele and friend.  They continued kicking butt and I came in far behind right around 6:30.

Not the world's fastest workout, but it could have been worse, right?  The part that made me feel better is that the workout felt moderately hard but nothing close to a race effort.

I know running with all these girls will help my confidence and make me a better runner.  But that's not completely why I do it.  Big secret?  My favorite part of the workout is the cooldown.  We ran three miles on the track cooling down, just talking, laughing, etc.   It'll be even better when Sarah and Kristina can make it.

So I guess a big reason of why I run is for the friends.  And of course for the opportunity to play real-life frogger in the dark with fast kids.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mizuno Elixir Giveaway! (and Surf City)

I ran the Surf City Half with my friends Sarah and Sheila this weekend!  Kristina joined us for a few miles too in the middle.

As you know, we decided to make it more of a fun run due to a lot of semi-bad circumstances for each of us (I was sick...and still am dangit...and yes, I am slightly disappointed in myself)...and in that way, it was a huge success!  It was a really beautiful day for a run, and Surf City was well-run as always.  It better be for the billion dollars it costs for the entry fee, right?   We ran around 1:46 and change and stayed together the whole time.   It was great to spend time with those girls.

Our pictures definitely put any Healthy Living Bloggers race pics to shame.  Hah!  I am definitely having more fun than you are and the pictures are #proof!  

(sorry for stealing your pics, marathonfoto).

I have also tracked down a new race (Lucky 7!) in Davis, CA, which will be an attempt for a more serious race attempt of a half marathon.  Health and non-laziness in workouts for the next month, willing, the stars will align that day for a closer to PR effort.  Who wants to sign up for this race with me?  COME ON PLS?   It's only $50!


I'm really excited to be giving away a pair of the Mizuno Elixir 8's today, thanks to Mizuno Running!  

The Elixir is my favorite shoe out there on the market.  I love it because it's light and smooth enough to run workouts in but stable enough for me to use an an everyday trainer.  It's generally made for mild overpronators who want a light shoe.  

The updates over the past couple years have been relatively small, IMO, so if you loved the Elixir two years ago, you'd probably still love the latest model. 

It's also ridiculous in it's styling and in my opinion ridiculously beautiful.  I love looking down and seeing these badboys on my feet.  

So here's how you enter to win some new shoes:  

1 Entry:  Comment (and maybe tell me about a crazy loud piece of clothing you own?)

1 Entry: Follow Mizuno Running on twitter and tweet at me (@fasterbunny) and Mizuno (@MizunoRunning)

1 Entry:  Like Mizuno Running North America on Facebook. 

It would be awesome if you could comment on the blog with a "1, 2, 3" format of how many entries you get so that it's easier for me to count fairly.

Ie "1) I own a neon jumpsuit 2) Followed Mizuno on twitter and tweeted about it 3) Followed them on Facebook"

Fine Print that's actually bolded:  You have to live in the US (sorry), contest ends next Tuesday at 9 PM PST, and you can actually get another model from Mizuno if Elixirs aren't your style  / don't work for your stride.)

Good luck!! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Track Dates of the Future

Brief Notes: 

I'm doing two giveaways next week!  One with Mizuno and one with Albion Fit.  I'm excited for them, but I know that's not everyone's jam, so just a heads up either way!!

Unfortunately, I won't be racing Surf City all out tomorrow unless a miracle occurs because I'm somewhat sick.  Boo-urns.  Right now I'm planning to run it easy with Sarah and Sheila who are also not looking to race.  It sucks, but honestly it wasn't like I was going to PR anyways, so a few more weeks of training for something new won't kill me.  Big sad!  Let me know what all the cool kids (you) are running in March-ish so I can sign up too!

Track date with Sarah

You guys.  I know Sarah already gushed about our Track Party Tuesday night edition on her blog, but I need to do it too.

Sarah, Kristina, and I used to meet on Tuesday mornings down in Orange County for track workouts.  It was amazing because it was a way to get some good speedwork in and get girl time in all before 8 AM.   It's really hard for me to motivate myself to run fast without other people, so it was helpful for my fitness as well.

So Tuesday night, the band got back together (minus Kristina who was clearly there in spirit).  My friend Gisele was there too, but she is too damn fast to even consider running with at this point.  The track was unlit ("This is like Ragnar track"  - Sarah), it was a bit of a drive, and...well...the track kind of sucked too, but the whole experience was freaking awesome.  How lucky am I to have running friends willing to make a drive to meet for a track workouts?

Pretty dang lucky, that's for sure.

Running in the Future

Running has changed a ton in the past decade.  Races are more expensive, sparkly gear is all the rage, and dry fit and compression is common gear.  There are all sorts of opinions on whether the changes of late are good or bad.  But what's going to happen in the future for running?

I thought about it and here's my wishlist:

1)  Race packets that can be picked up online:  Not sure if this will happen due to expo business, but who knows?  It would be awesome for out of towners to not have to pick up a packet the day before.  Bad news for expo business? probably.  Good news for convenience though!

2)  Race packet transfers and exchange platform:  In my perfect world, not only will we be able to transfer our bibs to other people, but there will be a website where people can easily sell race bib transfers (at the sale price or lower so that scalpers don't become a thing) to others.  This way people can get some money back if they get injured, and people who really want to run legally at the last minute can see if there are bibs for sale.  I'm sure this isn't great for Race companies who count on a certain no-show percentage but it sounds awesome to me!

3) Treadmills that....somehow actually simulate being outside:   I have NO idea how this would be manufactured, but I'd like a treadmill that someone simulates real road conditions a little better than they currently do.  Any ideas?

4)  Hologram training partner:  They made a Tupac hologram at Coachella last year, why can't they make me a virtual Kara Goucher?  It would be awesome.  We could run track workouts together and be best friends.

What's on your running future wishlist?