Product Review: FlipBelt

I finally had the chance to test out my new flip belt! AND I LOVE IT!  I really didn’t know how I would feel about it because I figured it would bunch up and look weird, but once I popped my phone in and flipped it over I was good to go.

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I ran for 5 miles and with my iPhone5s tucked away it stayed in place just fine.  It didn’t ride up or bounce around as one would expect, but I did need to wear it over my pants so that my mommy pouch wouldn’t be squished.

I think this belt would be great for a variety of people, but can see larger individuals or people with excess loose skin (like myself) struggling to feel comfortable.  I was able to solve this problem by wearing the belt over my running tights.  My tights help to hold everything in so my gut wasn’t flopping around over the belt as I ran.

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Overall, it’s a great product and I would recommend it to my friends (and you!).  The only con I can see is for larger individuals.  I know that this is something I would have avoided like the plague back when I first started my journey and can understand that it’s not something that is meant for every body.

I should also note that I ordered a size large for my size 10/12 hips so it’s a fairly standard fit.

If you’re interested in buying one of these at a super discounted price let me know ASAP (leave your email) so I can share my special discount code (I have 15 codes available for 33% off).

Also if I run out of super saver codes you can use code: Sweat10 for 10% off your entire FlipBelt purchase!

Be sure to visit http://bit.ly/flipbeltsweatpink to checkout their full collection of belts!
If you want to get your hands on one for cheap please fill out the form so I can send you the 33% off code!

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Every Runner’s Nightmare: Let’s Talk About The ‘D’ Word

October and November were rough months.  Just as I got over my October cold I was hit with a horrible case of bronchitis.  I was completely incapacitated for a few days and then it took an additional week and a half for my cough to die down enough before I could run again.

My first run back brought me to the realization that I had missed too many very important long runs.  After many days without running those 4 miles felt like a 10 mile run.  It was brutal and my lungs burned.  In fact, weeks later and my lungs are still feeling the pain.

In the wake of my illness we were also met with a variety of unexpected financial burdens and just before Thanksgiving I came to the saddened realization that I might be facing my first race deferral.

The “D” word that every runner dreads.

FOX TV / Via degrassi.wikia.com

I just couldn’t fathom scraping close to $2K together for the trip to Disney to run in a marathon that I now felt I would be undertrained for.  It was a very tough realization to accept, but this week’s happenings have made the blow a little less harsh.  We were faced with yet another jab to the gut.  This past Monday we hit a deer and it did substantial damage to our vehicle.  This means we’re hemorrhaging money right now and had I bought plane tickets a couple of weeks ago we would be facing the same rough decision to cancel the trip.

I was excited to see that RunDisney does offer a deferral option, but bummed to see that a fee would be involved.  I would have to pay an additional $75 just so I could race again next year?!  Talk about frustration!  It would be nice if Disney allowed for bib transfers, but nope!  What’s worse is that I was fully ready to pay the deferral fee until today when I hopped on over to their website to find that the deferral slots had already been filled.

It looks like my big “D” is no longer going to be a deferral, but rather a DNS (did not start).  Talk about devastation!  Months of training down the drain.

Yet, I remain optimistic.  I WILL run another marathon in 2015!  I will even try to sign up for a few spring halfs to keep myself on track.  It’s not always an easy journey as an athlete, but it will be worth it in the long run. My training isn’t for nothing, it’s made me stronger and faster and increased my endurance.  In the end it’s not the race the makes me a runner, it’s my ability to run despite the races (or lack thereof).

Race Recap: 5K Chili Challenge, Ithaca NY 11/2/14

It was another bitter and brutally cold day for this year’s 5K Chili Challenge (last year’s weather was just as bad).  It took a lot of effort for me to make it out of bed and brave the elements, but I sucked it up and made it happen.
463633_846711335362788_1076732083611111049_oI had been fighting an upper respiratory infection during the week and my lungs had been feeling tight so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had only been able to put in 4 miles that week and missed out on my 17 mile run so I figured this would be something that would at the least help me maintain some level of fitness.

Another motivator to get me out was that my two biggest fans came along to support me!  Craig and Connor braved the cold with me until the race started , but they later took refuge in the car while I ran.

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It was cold!  The wind was tough, but I dressed for the part.  I really loved the course for this 5K because it was a change of pace from mundane road races.  Trail running has become a new love of mine!  I often prefer it over other options and love that it provides a different level of challenge.

 

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In the first half of the race (the uphill portion) I was sure to take it easy.  This is where knowing the course really helped!  I was glad to reach the turn around point because I knew I could pick up the pace and improve my time during the slight downhill.  I even managed to pass a few groups of people!  This is something that never happens for me!

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I am a comfortable middle of the pack runner and usually end up on my own during the race, but it was nice to knowingly pass people and keep them at my tail.  I paced my fast mile in mile two and kept a strong and steady pace for mile three.

Like a perfect midpack runner, I finished off in 32:59 and placed 112/224 beating last year’s time by a hair.

 

 

Marathon Training Review: Weeks 1-3

A few weeks ago I decided to switch over from my 3x/week running plan to a more intense 5 day running plan, Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2. The first week went fantastic!  I only missed one short run and was able to stay on track for my other longer runs.

I was also killing those runs!  My 10 miler was a new PR and my shorter runs were getting more speedy.

Hal Higdon Intermidiate 2 Training Schedule

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Sadly, week 2 is when I began to slack.  It was mainly because I was completely and utterly wiped out.  We shot a double wedding that weekend and after two 12 hour days of shooting the last thing I wanted to do on my first day off was go out and run 11 miles.  Let’s not forget to mention that I could also feel myself getting sick.  I know my body and know that I made a wise choice in staying in that day.

My cold was very mild and passed quickly and I was able to get back on track in week 3, BUT I still missed two of the longer runs.  We were out of town that weekend shooting in Buffalo and I wasn’t about to get up early and run 6 miles in an unfamiliar city.  The following day I was far too exhausted from the 12 hour day of shooting so I decided to skip yet another long run.

I know this is bad.

They say to never skip a long run.  They say that if you’re going to miss any runs try to make it those short ones.  But, we’re still fairly early on in the training and I think I will be okay.  You see, I always have the Intermediate 1 plan to fall back on.  When I look at that schedule and think about my current fitness level I know that I am well ahead of the curve.

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I only opted for the higher schedule to begin with because my longest training run from my prior 28 week plan was 9+ miles.  I knew that my body was already fully capable of going the 10 mile distance and saw no problem with the increased mileage.

So far, the training has been going well.  I don’t feel like it’s burning me out and I don’t feel like it’s too much too soon.  The only conflict I have had been due to a ridiculously busy schedule and illness.

It will get better now that wedding season is dying down and I do plan to work hard to stay on track for week 4.  It’s my goal to have a full week of training under me for this coming week.  So far, I am doing my best to stay on track and plan to do the same for the weekend.  It’s not always easy finding the time or getting up early, but I know it’s going to be a necessity.  I want to push myself harder so that I can PR this next marathon and even hope to run a half at the end of this month (10/19) so I can PR that distance as well.

I can feel both my mind and body getting stronger and know that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. How are your training plans going?  Have you ever change things up during training?  What plan are you following?

Product Review (and Giveaway!) : AMRAP Bars

Winner Alert

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Disclaimer:  This is an unbiased review.  As an SPA, I am often provided with opportunities to review certain fitness/health related products.  I was not paid for my review, but did receive a free product for testing.

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A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to review AMRAP Nutrition’s newest flavors.  Have you heard of AMRAP nutrtion?  It’s a great company that boasts about their Paleo friendly bars. If you’re anything like me, finding dense and clean nutrition is important.

AMRAP Handstand

I was pretty excited when these arrived because they were huge!  I love myself a bar that can act as a meal, especially when in a bind.

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I tried my first bar while we were on the road.  It was the Fig Cacao and it was the perfect fuel for a long road trip.  I didn’t feel the need to stop and indulge in fast food and it kept me satiated until we arrived to our destination.  The bar was chewy and the fig flavor was slightly outweighed by the dates, but I love dates so this wasn’t a deal breaker.

I asked my husband to take a bite, but he wasn’t a fan of its chewy nature. I, however sort of love the chewy texture of bars like this.  It makes it feel like more of a treat and lets me daydream about chewing on caramel.

The following morning I ate my second bar as post run recovery fuel.  It was the Almond Honey and it was a perfect texture of chewy with the occasional crunch of nuts all cloaked in a mild honey taste.

Lastly, a few days later I used my last bar, the Cashew Vanilla.  It was bittersweet as I nibbled on each remaining bite.  I kept wondering what I could do to make that final bar last, but before I knew it my sticky fingers were empty.  My stomach was satisfied and my body was fueled for another lunch run.

Much like my Clif Bar addiction, these bars could easily find their way as a staple in my home.  All three of them were delish, but I think my favorite was the Almond Honey!  If it weren’t for the steep price of $30/8pk, I would be ordering these bad boys in a heartbeat.

Lucky for you, you have a chance to win your very own pack!!  I will be giving away three of these 8pks!!!  To enter the giveaway please visit the link below and comment on this post.  Feel free to share with your friends!!

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b5cbf0ec1/
  • There will be (3) winners
  • Each winner wins an 8-pack of AMRAP bars in a flavor of their choice
  • That means each winner can choose Fig Cacao, Almond Honey, OR Cashew Vanilla. 
  • Winners can be in US or Canada

Review & Giveaway: Bolder Bands

I was recently given the opportunity to review the awesome headbands from Bolder Band (bbolder.com). When it came to choosing a pattern to review and giveaway the decision was tough, but I went with the Tribal pattern for myself and the Blue Sorbet for the giveaway (see below for details).

First things first.  Let’s talk about how absolutely freaking cute this thing is!  I love the bright pattern and appreciate that the band can be worn multiple ways (wide, thin, over the ear, behind the ear, you name it!)

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Not only is it great for wicking away sweat, but it’s definitely a great option for those bad hair days or when you’re at home lounging around the house. Hell, it’s a great, “Oh crap, I just rolled out of bed and need to look fancy in 5 minutes”, kinda band.

Okay, let’s get to the real question.  Does it stay put?

First off let me premise by saying I don’t know if it’s my head or my slick hair, but the headband slippage struggle is a real issue for me. I have yet to find the perfect band that doesn’t require at least a teeny bit of adjusting during a workout. After reading up on the rave reviews for this band I was stoked!  It promised to cover all the bases.  Cute, fashionable, sweat wicking, and sticking abilities all in one.

I gave the band its trial run at one of my softball games, but I made the mistake of not reading up on how to properly place the headband so I did experience some light slippage.  These bands are meant to stay put when worn a specific way.  “IF you wear them correctly (low on your forehead – more like a sweat band less like a plastic headband) AND you have the correct size, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7uFWP1_C3g ” the headband should not slip.

Guess who’s headband stayed put like a champ during her next trial run?

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Yup, that would be me!  I really love these bands because they are lightweight and they do their job of taming crazy frizzies all while wicking away that sparkly sweat from your brow. Another huge plus to this band is that it’s not so tight that it gives me a headache.  I def recommend these to people who are looking for a stylish way to keep their hair out of there face and sweat out of their eyes.

All in all I can see myself getting plenty of use out of this pretty band!  Now, let’s talk about how you can get your hands on one for FREE!  I’m hosting a giveaway over on my IG page (@sarah_griff_fit) so you can get your chance to win the Blue Sorbet pattern for yourself!  In order to qualify for the giveaway your page must be public (so I can see you share the post) and you must follow me @sarah_griff_fit on IG.  Keep an eye out!  The giveaway post will be going live shortly!

 

Building Speed and Happy Belated National Running Day!

Ever since I completed my first full marathon back in January I’ve been struggling with building my speed.  As of late, it seemed that no matter how hard I tried I could barely break an 11:00 minute pace for my 5K distances.  If I could get sub 11 minutes for my 3-4 mile runs, it was a good day.

I’m not a fast runner (hello, I’m a Slow Mo Mother Runner!), but back in November before my mileage was crazy high, I ran my best 5k at a 10:10 pace.  I also ran a 10k with a sub 11:00 pace.  Both of these have been tough paces to obtain again.  That was until this past weekend!  I finally hit a 10:10 pace again!

10346366_721909884527565_5399344539351721673_nI was thrilled with my run!  I wasn’t expecting much when I stepped out the door that morning.  In fact, my run started off crappy because Pandora wasn’t working and I ended up running without any music.  I was worried that it might slow me down, but there was something nice about a trail run without the distraction of rhythmic beats in my ears.

I listened to my breathing, watched my HR, and went with the flow.  Mile 2 was a bit trying, but once I turned around at 1.7 miles I knew I was over halfway finished and I knew I had room to push myself because I was nowhere near my max HR.  So I kept an eye on my Polar FT40 and told myself I would build my HR at 1/4 mile increments.  It worked!  I build my speed back up and finished off strong.  It was a pretty awesome feeling to hit that mark again.

For the month of May, post relay race, I had been working on building my speed.  I incorporated hills, fartleks, and built my mileage for a couple of runs.  I’ve also listened to my HR and have been working on what points during a run to really push myself.  Ideally, I’ve found that staying at 160 for the first half of my run and then building things up and pushing hard towards the latter half works best.  I do max out around 185-190 and can’t really push myself for too long at that HR, but I find it’s my sprint rate and it works for that last short final push.

I even went out yesterday on National Running Day and put in a decent 5K with a 10:37 split.  I’m still trying to master the negative split because mine still look like uneven pyramids. I am getting stronger and can feel myself getting faster.

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These next couple of months I am reading up and playing around with a few things to see where it takes me.  One other thing that I have been trying to master is my stride.  I’m so used to a heavy legged short stride and would really love to get away from that for my shorter runs.  Based on my current research it seems that a lot of small changes can mean a world of difference with pace. My goal before the end of the summer is to get  sub 10:00 min pace for a 5K distance.  I would love to see a 9:00 too!

What are your pace goals?  What are you doing to get faster?  How are you building your speed?