Saturday, October 10, 2015

Summer 5Ks

Okay, let's see if I can get through a quick post and get the ball rolling on keeping this blog a little more up to date!

It's fall, the time for running! Looking forward to finding some local races in Tuscaloosa.

I ran three 5k's this past summer. The New Balance Uptown Run, Mudbug Madness, and the Firecracker 5k. All three were Sportspectrum races, all three were great races. Sportspectrum never fails at putting on quality races, whether it be a local 5k, or the famous River Cities Triathlon!

I had a pretty bad upper respiratory infection in late spring and it took a long time to get over it. I raced the New Balance Uptown Run mostly for fun. Ran it in my Hoka One One shoes instead of the Saucony Kinvaras just to keep the speed more reasonable. Decent race, won my age group even running at a controlled somewhat easy pace. It was hilly. Finished in 23:54 / 7:43 pace. Here is a link for the Sky Pixel LA drone video! Very cool, take a few minutes to watch it!!!

Next up was the Mudbug Madness 5k. Now this one was fun! One of my swimmers was running it and I decided to run with Harrisen. He rode over from the pool with me to the race. His little sister Evangeline, and their mom were coming to the race a little later. What a fun experience, I will never forget how hard this little guy ran, and how much heart he put into the race. Let me tell you, he is 9 years old. Ran 25:55, an 8:22 pace! Yeah... lets see, when I was 9 I never would have dreamed of running 3 miles! H won his age group! I was 2nd in mine. Here is the link for the Sky Pixel LA video of this race! At one point you can see Evangeline holding up a sign that says Go Harrisen and Coach Ginger! Will never forget this one!


My last 5k of the summer was the Firecracker! Third time to run this one. Sportspectrum has been putting on this race for 31 years! So awesome! Firecracker doesn't do age group awards. It is a run for the MUG! The coveted, treasured Firecracker mug!! The top (if I remember correctly) 100 men and 75 women get a mug! I finished 50th among the women 23:50, nothing stellar but got my third Firecracker mug! Sky Pixel LA Firecracker video! What a great way to celebrate our nation!

Next blog post will be on the triathlons that I did this past summer. Slowly but surely I'll get caught up!

Want to close this post with this photo of Evangeline running her first 5k. Harrisen had already finished and went back out to run her in to the finish. Great kiddos! Is this not one of the best pictures?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Keep Me Posted!

I received a message on my last post from Kelly about my lack of attention to  my blog... I am guilty!
I've got a bunch of posts to write! Be on the lookout!

- Mudbug Madness 5K

- Indian Creek Tri Race Report

- Dave Scott Clinic

- River Cities Tri Race Report

- Lake DeGray Tri Race Report

- Rose City Tri Race Report

- Moving to Tuscaloosa!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Dreaded Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis - that ugly monster that rares it's head and makes your foot miserable. I can't tell you the number of people who come into Sportspectrum (running specialty store) where I work complaining about their foot pain.

"Plantar fasciitis (also known as plantar fasciopathy or jogger's heel) is a common painful disorder affecting the heel and underside of the foot. It is a disorder of the insertion site of ligament on the bone and is characterized by scarring, inflammation, or structural breakdown of the foot's plantar fascia. It is often caused by overuse injury of the plantar fascia, increases in exercise, weight, or age." - Wikipeida 

The thing that amazes me is just how long most of them have been suffering with PF and it's pain. "I've had this for 2 years, it's chronic". Some of them tell me that they have a custom orthotic from their podiatrist. Beyond that there are only a very few who are doing any thing else to recover from this injury. I don't know how they do it... living with that kind of pain for so long.

"If your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis (fashee-EYE-tiss), an overuse injury that affects the sole of the foot. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes."

"You're more likely to develop the condition if you're female, overweight or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis." - American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society

I've had bouts of plantar fasciitis over the years. The quicker you do something about it the sooner you can get through it. The Internet is filled with great information and videos on self treatment of PF, "New Techniques for Treating Plantar Fasciitis" is just one of many good ones that I have found. It frustrates me that most of them have not taken the time to find out anything about what they can personally do to treat the pain, and most of them can't even pronounce it properly. I sit with them and explain that in order to recover from this they have to be pro-active. Wearing a "custom orthotic" is rarely going to fix the problem. Pretty much without fail after giving them a list of things to do and "not do" I get the wide eyed response of "I had no idea.......". Now, how many go home and actually put anything I've told them into action is another thing altogether. Sometimes it's easier to just complain about something than rather do something about it.

So just what do I tell them to do? Well here is a list:
  1. NEVER walk barefoot. You must keep support of the fascia all the time. This even means when you get out of bed in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom you must put on some kind of supportive shoe or sandal. (This always gets me the look of are you kidding me?). 
  2. Stretch your calf muscle before taking one step out of bed. Put a hand towel by the side of your bed and stretch your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles prior to standing up. The gastrocnemius is stretched by pulling your toes back with the towel wrapped around the forefoot with your knee straight. The soleus is stretched with the knee slightly bent. Here is a great blog post that I found: "A Little Soleus Stretch Goes a Long Way!" by Allyson Sunderman, DPT.
  3. Body work on your lower leg. This may be by using a foam roller, or actually putting your hands on you leg and doing some deep tissue massage. Concentrate on the soleus muscle more than the gastrocnemius. The soleus is exposed below the gastroc, use cross fiber work on it to spread out the muscle and allow for increased blood flow into the muscle. You can also get to the belly of the soleus, you'll have to brace your fingers together, and work in between the heads of the gastrocnemius. In this picture I have weight on my foot (I had to prop up the camera), you will want to work on your leg with it non-weight bearing. Dig around and you will find a very tender spot, the trigger point, work on this in a cross fiber direction for 6-8 strokes in about a 1 inch size, then leave it alone and go back several times during the day and repeat. You will find that each time you go back and work on it there will be less tenderness. 
  4. Body work on your foot. Don't forget to do some work on the bottom of your foot itself. A simple way to do this is with a little hard rubber ball on the floor under your desk. Some people recommend a golf ball, but you want something with a little flex in it. 
  5. Taping. This is what I personally do immediately when I feel any hints of PF. I use Rock Tape H2O, I've tried several other brands but this one stays adhered much better and lasts longer. Taping you arch will hold the fascia up and allow it to heal and not get re-stretched with every step. Here is a Rock Tape video with instructions on taping for Plantar Fasciitis.
  6. Arch sleeves. There are products on the market that are compression arch sleeves, I know that Feetures makes one. I've used these before and had moderate success, you can't wear them in the shower, and I've found that it really doesn't do as good a job as the taping.
Catching this early and doing some self treatment will help you tremendously in your recovery of PF and not allow it to become a chronic problem. Waiting until you've been hobbling around for weeks "hoping" that with just a little rest and time off of training will make it go away is not going to work.

I hope this sheds some light on this common problem with runners and non-runners. Good luck and keep training! See you at the races!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wiki Wiki Man

Ugh Wiki Wiki Man....

I got sick back in February and missed a ton of workouts. It wasn't flu, it wasn't strep, but my husband came down with walking pneumonia about 3 weeks after I got sick. Our doc didn't test me for that but I have been coughing for over 2 months now.

I almost bailed on the race this weekend.

Bogey, our younger Golden had surgery on Thursday to remove a mass from his left front leg. When the doc did the initial aspiration he said there were all kinds of cells in there, some of which looked like mast cells. I wasn't sure if I wanted to leave him, but he's bounced back like he didn't have anything done. Now we just have to wait for the results from pathology.

My being sick and then The Bogue's surgery. It was a last minute decision to go race. And as it turns out, not a great one at that.

66 degree water, so I took the full sleeve wetsuit. No issues in warm up - they gave us a few minutes between the time the last wave of the Olympic distance race went off and ours to get in the water. I swam 4 times since February, so I took the swim easy. It wasn't a great feeling seeing so many pink caps out in front of me in the water. I swam really easy so I wouldn't have one of my wetsuit panic attacks.

This is the race that I did last year that has an Olympic distance bike even for the Sprint race. Last year a storm came in and the wind was horrible, today was much better with just about an 8 mile South wind, which meant the last 4 miles were tailwind. 20.47 mph average.

Got off the bike to run and felt like I was walking. I remember even groaning out loud as I climbed the first hill. 24:04 was my split - if the distance was right that is a 7:45 pace. I'll bet it was short because I sure didn't feel like I was running that fast.

Managed to pull of a first in my age group. Completely out of the Masters category. 7th overall female for the Age Group race. Even though it sounds pretty good, it was really a pretty bad race.

The Cobb Mobb was out in force. Everyone that raced this morning placed!

By far the best part of today was seeing so many people from Dallas! Susie and her husband used to be my clients when I worked at the North Dallas Athletic Club. I ran with her when she was trying to qualify for the 100th Boston. (And yes, she did qualify!) One of the things we talked about was the bombing at Boston. She said when she was listening to the news the time that the bomb went off sounded familiar, and she checked her time from when she ran it.... exactly the same. Scary. 

Got to catch up with Ann and Stephanie too. The only time I ever see these girls is at a few races each year. It was nice to have a chance to visit with them.

I also got to see Amanda Melo, she was the Massage Therapist at the North Dallas Athletic Club when I first started working there back in 1992. I hadn't seen her in years either. Wish I had snapped a picture with her too. 

I have the Tri Tyler Sprint in two weeks...... better get busy with the training.....

Monday, March 9, 2015

Relentless Responsibility

I belong to a group on Facebook for Swim Coaches. Can't even begin to tell you how many great ideas we use from things that the coaches on this page post. Hallie and I are always talking about what we've read and how we can incorporate it into our JV workouts.

The other day a coach posted a short article that he wrote about swimmers and their responsibility in the pool. How they need to own it. Not too long ago we had a parent complain that it was our fault that her daughter did a flip turn in an IM on back to breast in her event in a meet. Do we teach that? Of course not, did the swimmer know that she isn't supposed to do a flip turn there? Yes, she did. But the mom felt it was our fault, not her daughters. So whose responsibility is it? Is it the Coach's or the Swimmer's?

I asked Coach Berry Schipper if I could publish his article on my blog and he graciously said yes. I think it is spot on, and worth sharing. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Here is what he had to say about swimmers and their responsibility:

"What swimmers need to understand is that a coach needs to divide his/her attention, focus and –mostly- energy over an X amount of swimmers. The swimmer only needs to invest all this in one swimmer: in him or herself. No matter how good and engaged the coach, it simply doesn't match up.

So motivation and accountability can eventually not come from the coach, it has to grow from inside of the swimmer self.

In order for a coach to help in that process of the swimmer owning responsibility, there needs to be enough distance between the coach and the swimmer. It is why I insist my swimmers not call me by my first name. When we’re at the pool I am not your buddy, I am your coach.
In my years of coaching I have met young swimmers that I would easily take in our home and treat as family. But when we enter the pool there is nothing of that left: I tell you what to do and you do it, and I am not interested in reasons why you can’t.

Yes, if your shoulder hurts, or you feel dizzy, I need to know. But I do not want to hear (other) reasons why you can’t train hard, why times aren't met. Because that way the swimmer is putting the end responsibility in the coaches hands. And the coach simply can not carry the end responsibility of an X amount of swimmers in the same way a swimmer can do (or could possibly do) this for her/himself. The math is quite simple.

I heard Phelps say in an interview ‘he swims for Bowman.’ I disagree with that. You don’t swim for your coach or your club, you don’t even swim for your country and you definitely don’t swim for your parents. You swim for you.

Because this is the only path that can lead to relentless responsibility, or what Rasmus Ankersen called ‘ruthless accountability.’  You are responsible for your swimming, for giving everything you've got on an insane amount of occasions. You are responsible for not taking an easy way out, over and over again. Otherwise you will fail in reaching your end goal.
In the end those numbers are exactly the same: the swimmer only has one swimmer who can fail: you. The coach has new opportunities with every new swimmer that walks in.

Sounds mean and detached? No. Sounds like reality.

So what does this mean for the development of a swimmer?

One rule only: no external excuses. Never.

The pool is too cold, there is noise from other lanes, the set is just too hard, etc. You have to shut these thoughts down. It will take you away from reaching relentless responsibility. Do not expect a short cut to your goal, do not think you will not have rough times where nothing seems to work. Do not think there is anything that can take the place of unbelievable hard work on an endless amount of small details.

But rather see the training, see the hard work as a given. It is there as the baseline of your thought process. You build your life around that given: training is there, how do I accommodate?

And the coach? He or she is there to help you become ruthless. Ruthless to yourself and the rest of the squad. Nice swimmers don’t win races, nice coaches don’t make champions."

Berry Schipper has been coaching for 15 years, he has worked with swimmers in The Netherlands, Cambodia, China and currently is in Namibia. He and his wife lead a nomad lifestyle as his wife works for UNICEF. He usually works as a technique coach with age groupers and triathletes.  "I'm actually an Iron Man finisher (Amsterdam/Almere in 2010) as well. Not too shabby for a 6'8"giant!
-Berry Schipper

Friday, February 13, 2015

Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon 2015 - Déjà Vu.

Another "Way Past Due" post. Get with it girl!

Sportspectrum and Shreveport were once again hosts to the USAT South Midwest Duathlon Championship. The race was Sunday, February 4th in Downtown Shreveport. The forecast called for rain and so the race organizers moved the transition area under Festival Plaza!

I've never had a race set up under cover, and it was great! Fortunately the rain held off and we had a relatively dry race. But just as the awards finished and the crew started breaking down the bike racks the sky opened up and it poured! Bet they were very happy at this point to have moved transition so that they didn't have to get soaked loading up everything.

I wasn't expecting a stellar race, since I haven't been on the bike much. The run should be okay though.

Lots of teammates out for this race! The Sunrise Triathlon Club, The Cobb Mobb, and Team Cambridge all in attendance! I'll tell you what, I've never heard more "Go Ginger!" in my life, that was a lot of team support, it was very cool!

Held back as usual on the first 2 mile run, Garmin had it a tad over 2 miles and my pace was 7:16.  I'm pretty sure I was about 6th at the end of the first run.

ICEdot Band Sighting!!!! 

We had a south wind for the bike and it was a double out and back with each loop being 8+ miles, I averaged 19.8 - was trying to get it to 20 but I eased up a little just before coming into T2.

Here is the Déjà Vu part.....
I think I passed 3 girls on the bike, and headed out onto the run in 3rd or 4th, but then...... da da.... da da.... da da da da da da.... (jaws music insert) made the turn at the half way point and low and behold all three of the girls were right there.... can I hold them off? NO. Dang it. Passed by all three. Rats. Ended up finishing 6th overall female and won the Grand Masters. One of the girls who passed me was over 40 and took the Masters. Looked her up, big time Duathlete, Worlds and all that, very fast! (bet she can't swim.. heh, heh!).

Was really hoping to hang onto that 3rd place. Rachel and Denise were running 1st and 2nd and I thought it would be cool to have all 3 of us taking the top 3 spots. That thought exited my mind when the 3 women passed me. Dang it.

Have to say I'm pretty happy with my race, better times in all 3 segments than last year. I'll take that!

Rachel, Denise, and me!
Team Cambridge!!

The Cobb Mobb!

My Sunrise peeps brought me this!

And a fried of mine picked this up for me at the Regional Banquet
the night before the race! I finished 2nd in my AG in the region! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Trail Run

It says The Monkey Trails, but Chimp Haven which is where this event is held will be quick to inform you that Chimpanzees are NOT monkeys. Then I was told that the trail was named first. Then I was told that it was named that because the haven was coming. Nevertheless, what a great event!!

I have only done one trail race before, in Hattiesburg. The Tuffburg 5K Trail Run. That was the one where I broke my finger when I fell. Thank goodness nothing like that happened Sunday.

It rained all day long on Thursday, and drizzled some on Friday morning. It was going to be a hot mess on the trail. Chilly temperatures, that's a good thing. The 10 mile run started first, and those of us doing the 3.5 miler started 5 minutes back. Next year they are going to give it 15 minutes. Within the first mile we were catching the back of the pack of the 10 mile runners. It was single track and very technical with lots of punchy ups and downs and switchbacks. It made trying to pass people very difficult. Added to the difficulty were the runners wearing headphones and listening to their (quite loud?) music. Really? You're running in nature in the woods and you can't leave your music at home? More than once I had to physically touch the person I had caught so they would know someone was trying to pass them. I was calling out On Your Left (or Right) and some of them couldn't hear me. And it's not like I was leading the group, so  numerous others had to have already passed them.

Race Tip: If you are going to do a trail run on single track leave your headphones and music at home. Or at least... wear ONE earbud so you know what is going on around you. Please.

The trail was really challenging. I ran my guts out and it was a 10 minute pace. Way to make you feel like you're out of shape! I should have worn a heart rate monitor to see what max I hit. There was a lot of slippery sections, I ran on the leaves and moss to the sides of the trail a lot to try and avoid the mud. I'm sure it slowed me down but I just didn't want to slip. Towards the very end there was one little place where you had to get your feet wet, but I leapt over it and only got a tiny bit of water in my shoe.

Two girls finished ahead of me, one was 18 and the other was my friend, Denise, who is 27. I passed two guys who were ahead of me at the beginning of the race. So I placed 3rd Overall Female and 5th Overall!!

Volunteered after the race to help out, went to where the 10 milers were finishing and were having some confusion about where to go. So I cheered them on and directed them to the finish line. Told one group of 3 to just stay between the little flags and veer to the left and up to the finish. One guy had his EARBUDS in and said "What?"........ grrrrrrrrr......

Never to disappoint, Sportspectrum put on a great event! The shirts are really cool! 

And the awards are my personal favorite, the sweatshirt blankets!!!

Clark's Tailgate Catering was out grilling up hamburgers! Clark is the same guy who runs Running Dog Sportswear, he is the one who printed my Team USA uniform!

After I got home from the race I was looking on Facebook and I saw this post on Reshareworthy. It was about Chimp Haven!  More than 100 government-owned chimpanzees from research laboratories have started a new life at Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana. Hope you take a minute to watch the video, I pretty much guarantee that it will touch your heart to see these guys get to experience freedom for the first time in their lives. How ironic it was that it was posted the same day where I had just been? Meant to be.

This morning when I woke up I realized I AM SORE! Like, REALLY sore! Mostly hip flexors from lifting my knees to make it up the sharp inclines, and calves and glutes have jumped on the pain wagon too. It's getting worse as the day goes on. I spun on the bike for a while this afternoon and did some stretching to see if that would help.... nope.

Next Up:
Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon is next weekend! The Cobb Mobb has made it an early season team event! And Team Cambridge has it as one of it's team events too! Get to see a bunch of teammates at the race!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dustbuster Duathlon and Some Other Good News

Wow.. I've been super lazy/bad about blogging....

Partially because not a whole lot has been going on, but.... mostly laziness.

Sportspectrum's annual Dustbuster Duathlon was a week or so ago and true to form it was stinkin' cold out there! But what do you expect from a race that's held in early January, right? Last year a front blew in as we were waiting for the race to start, we had wind, and rain, and freezing temperatures. This year no rain (thank goodness) but it was in the low 40's and we had a north wind at about 18 mph. Last year's Race Report.

Warm Up Run
Long, long ago when I did a couple duathlons one season (back then they were still called biathlons - that tells you just how long ago it was), I was given some really good advice. "Don't take the first run out too hard!" If you do you will pay dearly on the second run. So that's what I did, held back and watched 4 girls run away from me. It's tough and you have to remain calm and "hope" that you'll catch them on the bike. Ran the first 1.5 miles at at 7:26 pace (last year 7:45 pace). Caught two girls in transition and then passed the third just after we got on the bike.

The bike course was two out and back loops of 4 miles each so half of our ride was directly into the north wind... ah... but that means that the other half was with an amazing tail wind!! Averaged 18.8 or so, but maxed at 28.5 mph, not bad considering that I haven't been on the bike hardly at all (last year my average was 17.3 - bleh horrible).

Run 2 was another out and back but into the wind for the first half. Some kids had fun the night before on the grass with their ATVs and made a mess out of a little section of the run, making the path muddy, and dirty, and slippery - had to watch your footing over that little part. Averaged 7:55 by my Garmin on the second run - 12:09, course is a tad long so online results show it a little slower (last year 12:28 - but had extremely frozen feet from them being wet). My goal was to have my two run splits about with no more than :30 seconds per mile pace difference. Came pretty close. Looking over the results I can see a lot of people who either took out the first run too hard, weren't prepared for the bike (lack of winter training?), or went too hard on the bike. Many of the run comparisons were over a minute difference in pace per mile.

1st and 2nd Overall Females
COBB MOBB and Sunrise Tri Club!
All in all had what I consider a pretty decent race, bettered times from last year and won female overall. The award for this race is kind of quirky-cool. A real Dustbuster! The age group winners got fleece blankets (I wanted a blanket, and Matt Brown from Sportspectrum was nice enough to let me have one the next day at the store! - Thank you Matt Brown!!!)

Long, long ago I won overall female once before at a duathlon. It was the Strutters Duathlon 5K/30K/5K in San Angelo, TX. I dug around and found this online! 1991 - 23 years ago - I was 30!

Race Hints:
I put hand warmers under my toe covers to keep my feet warmer, this especially helps for the second run. Getting off the bike and having blocks of ice for feet makes for a very uncomfortable second run. I had a thought day before yesterday about my hands. I was in the car with  my husband and we were talking about the heated steering wheel on his Jeep. I mentioned how it would be neat to have heated handlebars. A friend of mine in North Carolina posted a picture on FB the other day of the 4 layers of clothing he used for a ride, it included 3 pair of gloves.

So... what about this idea - taping a couple hand warmers to the inside of your aerobars up toward the shifters?? I'm going to give it a try!! When I did the TriTyler triathlon last year I suffered some minor frostbite on a couple fingers of my left hand from the temperatures, this little hand-warmer trick may just work! I think it will also be good for winter rides. I put hand-warmers in my gloves but it's my fingers that really get uncomfortable.

The other good news:
Won the Sunrise Triathlon Club Female Athlete of the Year!
Picked up for a second year by the Cobb Mobb Triathlon Team, and chosen to be a Captain!
Made USAT All American again!
Serving as Director of Publicity and Public Relations for The Sunrise Triathlon Club!

2015 Sunrise Tri Club Officers
Next up - Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon! Last year's Race Report. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Favorite Things

It's been a while since I've done a Favorite Things post. And I've got some new favs to share!


Finis Instinct Sculling Paddles - I filled out a survey from Finis earlier this year and for doing so was sent these paddles. I had them for a while before I tried them out and when I did felt like and idiot for having waited so long. These are small hand paddles that cover only a small part of your palm and your fingers. There is a hole for you thumb and you should resist trying to "hang on to them", don't wrap your fingers around them trying to keep them on. They are held on by the pressure of the water. They will point out where you lose tension on the water immediately. Drop your elbow, they will flip right off your hand. They will help you get into an Early Vertical Forearm position. I love that you can use them for all strokes too. What I found is that I have my best grip on the water in breaststroke.

*A side note about regular hand paddles in general - I use them occasionally. And I've removed the wrist strap entirely, I've done this for years. In some ways it mimics the Instinct Paddles by not being able to rely on a strap to keep them on your hands. 

Nike Remora Fem Goggles - I read about these goggles in one of the swim magazines I get and went looking for them immediately. They're designed with "Soft Seal" technology, the gasket around your eyes is made of soft foam. The foam is hypoallergenic and non-toxic. It is much softer than the silicone gasket which you'll find on most goggles. I love these goggles!! I still get the goggle lines around my eyes but it's not as bad and goes away quicker than with my Vanquishers.

What I don't like about them is the strap, to me it looks cheap and who uses white straps on any goggles, and it's really stretchy? I changed mine out to a goggle bungee and that's way better.

Dolfin Chloroban® Swimsuit - I recently got one of these and so far I love it. Team Cambridge Triathlon Racing sent me one in solid red with white stripes that I had used some but I really prefer a print unless my suit is black or navy. So I found this one online and on sale so I grabbed it! I found mine on Sierra Trading Post for a great price!

I was using the Dolphin Uglies suits which I still really like but this fabric holds up a lot longer. The Uglies are really fun prints but they stretch out pretty quick, the prices on them are great and so I still get them. You can usually find them on sale when the new prints are coming out.


ICEdot Crash Sensor - This tiny yellow sensor attaches to your helmet and you pair it with your phone. It detects when there is an impact and triggers the app on your phone. A countdown timer starts and if it's not deactivated then the App notifies emergency contacts and even gives them a GPS location. I have one on my helmet, I hope I'm never in a situation where I will need it but it's good to know that I won't be laying in a ditch somewhere passed out and no one knows where I am. It hasn't been around long but take a look at the Reviews that it's getting!!

And speaking of that, something that I always do with the people that I ride with consistently. We exchange our spouses phone numbers and save them in our phones. Another situation that I hope never to be in, but what if you're riding with your friends and someone crashes bad enough that they can't continue or is unconscious. How are you going to get their "in case of emergency" person's number if their phone is locked? I don't know about you but I'd like it if I was in that situation for them to call Bill. Just a thought.

eFuel - I've used eGels by Crank Sports for ever, but until this year I'd never tried the eFuel. AWESOME!! This hydration product has it all. It has "double the complex carbohydrates, half the sugars and NO artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors." I could ramble on and on about it but instead I will say go to the link and read about it. My personal favorite flavor is the Tropical Punch. I like that it's not sickeningly sweet and it works.

I've used Cytomax and Heed in the past - stopped using Heed when I realized that the second ingredient in it is Xylitol, I've read too many bad things about it. Would never use any thing else anymore. And while you're on the Crank Sports page you should take a look at the eGels too.

Planet Bike Superflash - This was in my original favorite things post but I'm going to include it again just because it is so important to me to use a flashy light on your bike when you ride. And now with the winter coming on, it's even more important. Foggy rides or low light overcast days make it even harder for the cars to see us on the road. This light used to be touted as the brightest light on the planet, I don't see that anymore on the page but I've compared it to the ones that my friends use when they ride and it is much brighter. Visibility up to a mile. It's like defensive cycling. Be Safe Be Seen! Get a light!


Hoka One One Running Shoes - These shoes have saved my knees, period! Honestly I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my Hokas! They were designed by ultra runners and they have amazing amounts of cushioning. Some people refer to them as clown shoes because they have a built up sole. If you have any issues with knee pain and run in a neutral shoe you should go and check them out. I have two pair that I alternate and love both of them. Right now I have the Bondi and the Stinson (now replaced with the Stinson Lite). I think I'm going to get a pair of their racing shoes next. The Huaka!!
I don't have to kinesio tape my knees anymore with these shoes! Life is good!

That's pretty much it for new things, I hope you enjoy reading about them!

P.S. One of my readers and ICEdot Teammate was in a bad accident a few days ago, he was hit by a car while running. This is what he posted on his page:

"I should not be here, the guy was cutting corner through a restaurant parking lot to avoid the lighted intersection , he hit me dead center of his tundra . I had enough time to put arm up and jump while running . I flew up ten feet and spun into the bushes. I have several broken parts including my arm."

Please keep him in your thoughts as he heals! Get well soon!! Be careful out there everyone!