Friday, April 26, 2013

Not Your Little Sisters Workout Bikini!

Now that I'm starting to swim more and summer is coming I was on the search for a flattering but cute two-piece suit to workout in. I searched high and low and was about to give up until I found the perfect suit below! Carve Designs makes some of the cutest sporty two-piece suits along with other surf-inspired apparel and best of all, they fit an athletic women's body (yes, even one that has had two babies!) rather than a teens body like many of the other brands design for. The colors and prints are gorgeous and they are very flattering.

As you know, I love to encourage entrepreneurial women and as I learned more about Carve Designs I was impressed to find out that it was started by two women (Jenn and Thayer) who were passionate about surfing but frustrated with the lack of comfortable surf clothes available for women. They both quit their jobs and dove in head first to fill a need that they had a hunch about and I'd say they did the right thing!

Check out some of the other Carve Designs clothing below:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fit Friday: Cycle Chic

Whether you are an around the town gal or veteran roadie, spring is here and it's time to ride your bike! Take advantage of the nice weather and burn some easy calories by biking to the store instead of sitting in a car. On average you'll burn about six times more calories!

Fit Friday: Cycle Chic

1. Giro Skyla with a women's specific fit.
2. Check out Moxie Cycling's new Spring line!
3. Get a grip with the Pearl Izumi women's ELITE Gel Glove.
4. I love these well-padded Pearl Izumi Symphony Shorts.
5. I love this girly water bottle by Sweaty Betty.
6. I Want To Ride My Bike print

Happy cycling!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston in our Hearts

Boston in our Hearts
I will be running this week in honor of those in Boston and I hope you will too. Peace.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fit Friday: Swim Workout

I'm back in the pool! I never thought it would happen again when I quit triathlons back in 2007 but I'm enjoying myself and it feels good. Who knows maybe I'll actually compete in a triathlon this season. :) Anyways, we've got a small group meeting at the pool a couple of days a week to help motivate each other and we've been sharing workouts. My friends son is swimming on the local high school team and he's been assigning her some of their brutal sets (he writes them up for her and tells her what she should swim that day - what a cool kid!). We edit the workouts for a more reasonable distance (9,000 yard workouts are not my cup of tea) and I thought I'd share one for any of you getting ready for triathlon season or just wanting a good swim workout.

Warm Up 300-500 yards choice

8 x 75 yards freestyle w' middle 25 drill

4 - 6 x (3 minute swim freestyle, 2 minute swim freestyle, 1 minute swim freestyle)
(Find a distance you can swim within the time limit that allows you a bit of rest in between ~ 5-20 sec, for example, a 175 yards for the 3 min. swim, 125 for the 2 min. swim and a 75 yard swim for 1 min.) 
Take an additional 30 second rest between each set after the 1 minute swim.

4 x 100 yard freestyle building each lap from slow to fast
Take 10 seconds rest in between.

Cool down 200 yards choice

Total yards: 3,000 - 4,400

Have a great workout!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

High Hamstring Tendinitis in Runners

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a high hamstring injury that I'm dealing with and while it's still a bit of an issue, it is slowly getting better. Everything I've read about it says it's a tough injury to get rid of so I'm trying to stay positive.

This past week and a half I was able to do two very slow 3 mile runs and a 4 mile run yesterday. Progress! I am making sure to take 2-3 days off in between opting for cycling and/or swimming so as not to do too much and re-injure myself.

I've had plenty of other injuries but never a hamstring injury so this is new territory for me. I thought I would describe what I've been doing to heal and list some of the articles that have been great resources in guiding me in how to rehab on my own. Hopefully if any of you are dealing with a similar injury, this can help you too. (However, I am not a doctor so you definitely want to consult with your physician first as to what you should and shouldn't do!)

When this injury first cropped up, it was literally a pain in my butt and I had to massage those muscles out to finally figure out that the real issue was my hamstring. After backing off of workouts altogether with no relief, I visited a local doctor who is doing some new treatments for these types of injuries. He took an ultrasound of my hamstring and found exactly where the injury was and then used the ultrasound screen to guide a needle into the injured area. He uses the needle to break up the scar tissue  and then flushes the area with a combination of lidocaine and a water solution. (Much safer than a steroid injection!)  The action of breaking up the scar tissue is supposed to help the tissues to realign correctly and heal. He also told me that he thought my job (working in front of a computer at home for hours at a time) probably contributed to this injury.

I did get some relief from the treatment but realized that there was some sort of weakness that contributed to this injury that I would need to fix in order to heal and not have it happen again. Furthermore, my surrounding muscles were still tight so I opted to get a couple of sports massages which helped relieve some tightness in my glutes, IT band and lower hamstring area- in addition to having the massage therapist work directly on my high hamstring.

I highly recommend reading these two articles if you think you are dealing with a similar injury:

A Pain in the Rear: High Hamstring Tendinitis

High Hamstring Tendinopathy Injuries

Here is what I've been doing in addition to the treatments written about above:

1) Core: I didn't realize that having a weak core can contribute to hamstring issues but, yep, it can. After having two babies my abs were less like steel and more like...well, you know. While I was doing some core work here and there I really wasn't keeping to a regular routine and more often than not they were being neglected. I now make sure to do some core work every other day and this has made the biggest difference in my healing. I am determined to continue doing regular core work- and I know it will help prevent future injuries.

2) Rehab Exercises: I have been doing a combination of the exercises from the above two recommended articles which so far includes the bridging, squats, side-lying hip and the two plank exercises. This week I will be adding the leg press and Swiss ball exercises as I feel like I've progressed enough to add those in.

3) Rolling: I can't afford to go to the massage therapist every week and I bet most of you can't either so I've been using the The Grid Foam Roller almost everyday after workouts to help stay loose.

4) Stretching: I've been stretching my hamstring very gently a few times a day in addition to these stretches post workout.

I hope this post can help you a little if you are suffering from a similar injury and if you found something that helped you recover please post below!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

GapFit Motion T

I just picked up my first GapFit Motion T and I have to say, I love it! It's super soft, fits well and does a good job wicking sweat. A great workout top for the price and they have quite a few colors on sale right now so run don't walk to snap one of these up!

The picture of me above doesn't do it justice but you can see the nice mesh detailing in the upper neck/chest area and on the side/waist area below. The fabric is seamless and is so comfortable that I was tempted to sleep in it. :)