FEETURES! PLANTAR + CALF SLEEVE: THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

The word "compression" anything is huge in the running world yet for some reason I have never gotten on board with the compression trend.  There are a few reason: 1)  I stick to shorter distances when I run so I do not see the point.  And 2) I do not wear socks when I run.  I am plagued with blisters on my toes when I wear socks for running.  Having tried every possible sock I can find I have yet to find one that does not give me blisters.  The only thing that works: running sans socks.   Yes, I know it sounds gross to some but I have managed to find some great shoes for triathlon designed to be worn sock less and they are my saving grace.  Which really is unfortunate because I like the support I get on my foot (especially the plantar fascia area) when I wear certain socks.  Enter Feetures! Plantar + Calf Sleeve


PHOTO CREDIT


Feetures! are leading performance socks in the run specialty market and their Plantar + Calf Sleeve is a newly introduced product to the Feetures! lineup.  It combines plantar fascia stabilization and calf compression.  And this just may make a compression convert out of me.  In the market you will see either a plantar fascia sleeve with arch compression or a calf sleeve; not both.  This is a never before seen product.  The ultimate all-in-one recovery support.

This sleeve combines their patent pending FS6 technology with their graduated calf sleeve.  It relieves lower extremity pain while supporting the calf for enhanced performance and decreased fatigue.  The sleeve can be worn during a run or for recovery.  So, my thoughts?

  


I wore the sleeves for a few short runs and for an 8-mile run. Not having worn compressions before, it took me a little bit to get used to having them on.  It was not uncomfortable; just different for me.  During the run they provided great support.  My arches felt more stable than running without socks by providing support where I need it most.   But one of the most interesting things for me was how I felt like I was almost barefooted, which makes me wonder if I should try their running socks.  Maybe they will not give me any blisters.


PHOTO CREDIT

I also wore them for recovery after the 8-miler and after a brutal 12-mile ruck march wearing a 45 lbs. rucksack (the photo above is not me and placed to explain what I mean by ruck march).  Yes, we Army people are crazy like that.  Because we do this wearing boots, at the end of the ruck marches my feet and calves are always in pain for days.  I wore the sleeves at home after work and until I went to sleep.  It is hard to describe how good it felt to wear these babies.  Next day my legs were only minimally sore and so much more rested.  I had no problems with my plantar fascia and that is HUGE because after a ruck march I normally hobble around for a few days because of the pain.  

In all I am positively surprised with these sleeves.  Not having tried socks or gear like before, I was not sure what to expect.  What I found is a way to speed my recovery after putting a lot of arduous pounding on my feet.  Not only does it have positive effects on my running which I love, but more importantly in my job as a Soldier.  And that is pretty darn important to me.  My feet are part of my equipment and I have to take good care of it. 

** This compression sleeve comes in four colors and retails for $60.00.  I was provided with them by Feetures! for this review.  All opinions are mine.

OY WITH THE POODLES ALREADY: THE GILMORE GIRLS "WELCOME TO STARTS HOLLOW" WORKOUT

 


The world of Netflix is going ga-ga over the addition of the Gilmore Girls series to their lineup.  The series, which ended in 2007 (Gosh, has it really been that long?), has quite a following cult-- myself included.  If you are one of the few peeps not familiar with the series you were probably living under a rock, or a dude... or not into the WB later the CW.
 
Now, I am going to go all fan-snob here but all the quasi GG fans are not really fans.   A true fan misses a show so much that they get the series when they come out on DVD. Haha! And yes, I have all seven seasons. :D  Why?  Because this show was the perfect combination of family and friends dynamics, pop culture references, quick-witted comebacks and amazing characters.  I love it so much that when I miss it, I go into a binge watching marathon of all 7 seasons.

So in the "Welcome to Netflix" spirit and everything that is awesome about this series, I came up with the "Welcome to Stars Hollow" workout, named after the charming little town in Connecticut where the series takes place.  Which if you are familiar with the series, will find hilarious because if there was one thing Lorelai and Rory were against was working out (who can forget the racketball episode?).  This workout takes the things which in my view made the show so funny and awesome, to create a workout that you can do home.  I hope you enjoy! 
 



The trick here was finding situations that are fairly common on each episode to make it fun.  And believe me, I tried this on one episode and it will definitely have you saying "Oy, with the poodles already!".  So what do you say?  Put on one of the episodes and have a sweat in honor of these two funny girls!
 
 
Workout Wednesday // Fitness Friday

fitness || safety tips for running in the dark

This coming weekend the time changes and daylight savings time ends-- that time of the year when I feel like I go to work when it is dark and when I get out by 5:30 PM is dark again.  As someone who loves running in the afternoons during the rest of the year, this is a bit of a nuisance not only because I love the sun but for safety reasons.  Let's be honest, there are a bunch of crazies out in the world and I do not want to be the inspiration for an episode of Criminal Minds. In the Army we have a saying "always be aware of your surroundings" and the same principle applies to running in the dark.  It is just a matter of a little planning and safety awareness.  Here are a few tips that I find useful.


PHOTO CREDIT


PRE-RUNNING:


1.  Always let someone know where you are going.  I always send a text message to my fiance or one of my girlfriends.  If I am visiting family, I leave a note letting people know where I went.

2.  Do not advertise online where you are going.  I get it that you want your followers on Instagram and Twitter that you are hardcore but avoid advertising your route.  

3.  Choose reflective clothing.  Whether it is a reflective belt or vest or clothes with built in reflective fabric make sure that you can be seen.  

4.  Take your phone with you in case of an emergency and turn on the GPS.  In case something happen (let's hope it does not), your phone can be tracked. 

5.  If you have not invested in a Road ID, now is the time to do so.  This identification, which you can wear on your ankle, can be life saving in case of an emergency.


RUNNING:


1.  Run with a buddy.  Need I say more?

2.  Choose a well lit route.  In the darkness is not the time to run trails.  What if a "walker: comes out of the woods? :)  Ok, no seriously, unless you are doing a trail race or training for one with a crew, I do not recommend going trail running.  If you are running around the neighborhood make sure to stick to well lit sidewalks.  

3.  Stay away from the road.  You never know when someone will come barreling down the road.  And just because you can see them does not mean they can see you.  Refer to #2 in the above section.

4.  Run against the traffic whether you choose to stay on the sidewalk or on the road.  You want to see the incoming headlights. 

4.  Bring either a small flashlight or a headlight.  Even if the majority of the route you choose is lit, there may be areas that are dark and you may trip.  Better safe than injured

5.  I HIGHLY recommend not listening to music when you are running in the dark.  It goes back to been aware of your surroundings. 

6.  Be aware of your surroundings.  I cannot stress this enough.  Scan your surrounding while running, keep your ears open for noises but above all use your instincts.  You can tell when something does not seem right.  If you are running and you get that funny feeling that something is odd, either take a different (more safe route) or turn around.  Again, you do not want to end up injured or worse.

7. Be prepared to defend yourself.  Now let's talk about something serious.  I really hope I do not scare you with this, but in a day and age when attack on runners, especially women, seems to have increased I always think of improvised weapons.  The Army has wired me like this and I want to share with you because I care about you, dolls!  When you go running: carry a bottle opener.  Go ahead and laugh.  But I will have you know that the best weapon you can take with you is this cheap old school can opener. 




Attach it to a key ring and take it on your run.  How do you use it?  I have an old Special Forces boyfriend to thank for that.  You hold it with the pointy end away from your palm (basically the same position as the photo above).  If someone comes at you, you can stab or slash someone enough to give you time to escape or inflict some damage.  It is cheap and basically weightless so it works great when going for a run. 

Some may prefer pepper spray but I find it cumbersome to carry that little containers.  The point is, have something that works for you in case you need to defend yourself.  I know I went all worst case scenario on this but you can never be too prepared. 


Do you have any other tips? Am I the only one who thinks a "walker" will come out of the woods when trail running?

Workout Wednesday // Fitness Friday

connect

Image Map