Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do you think I'm SOCKSy? (giveaway!)

I love them when they are good and hate them when they are bad.
I am very, very picky about my socks. Once I find a brand I like--that's it. HOOKED and loyal to the brand. But I would rather be sockless than wearing a pair of ill fitting socks. When I am not training, you will usually find me running around barefoot or in flip-flops.
Several weeks ago I stumbled upon on Facebook and I had to check out the site. Plus they were offering all Facebook fans a 10% off coupon and I just love a sale (right Jason?)

I be-bopped over to and the first thing I noticed was the ease in which to shop. There are categories by brand, by sport and there is even a sock finder where you can sort by gender, cut, fabric, activity etc. I spent quite a bit of time searching through all of the options available and I was very impressed with several things: the variety, the quality brands that were offered and the prices!

I love saving money when it comes to buying running and triathlon stuff-lots of times when I find a great deal online once you figure in the shipping and handling charges, it ends up not being such a good deal after all.
Not so with
Yes, FREE shipping.
There is no minimum order. There are no coupons to use. There aren't any hoops to jump through.

I was also very pleased with the customer service-just like in a box store, a customer service agent will instant message you and ask if you need any assistance. If you just want to browse around the site, just say so-any questions? just ask away and they will ne happy to help!

So I "liked" on Facebook and Kevin e-mailed me a coupon for 10% off my first order (on top of their already great prices) and from there we arranged for a product review and giveaway HERE!

It took me SO LONG to decide which socks to try but finally, I decided to try out the CW-X Ventilator Compression Knee High Sock-I chose this sock because with warm weather approaching and lots of miles on my training plan, I wanted a compression sock that would soeed recovery AND be comfortable to wear while running and cycling.

That's a good lookin' pair of socks huh?

The CW-X Ventilator Compression Knee High Socks are the ideal running compression sock. Based on the Original CW-X Compression Knee Highs, the Ventilators are designed for the warm-weather athlete and offers added support, accelerated recovery and the cooling of mesh venting in key perspiration zones.

The patented built-in Kinesio Support Web supports the calf and arch of the foot, and stabilizes the ankle joint for reduced fatigue. Variable compression increases circulation in the feet and lower legs and reduces lactic acid buildup. You can recover faster after exercise and your legs and feet will feel fresher the next day.

** Anatomical Toe Design - Non-restricting toe box allows for increased functionality and movement.

** Compression and support - taping supporting the calf muscle and ankle, gradual compression aids in circulation and recovery.

** Arch support - taping stabilizes and supports the arch of the foot, reducing fatigue

** Mesh venting in key perspiration zones

** 4-way stretch fabric improves circulation.

** Moisture-wicking

Fabric Content:

60% Polyester

11% Cotton

10% Acrylic

10% Nylon

9% Polyurethane

Shipping was fast and when I got the socks, I could not wait to get out for a run in them!
Luckily for me, the socks have a nice little R and L on the foot so I know which foot was which-

The "R" told me it was for the RIGHT foot
I got them on without much fuss and they were quite comfy. I then grabbed my sneaks and was ready to head out the door. Once I got my shoes on, my heart sank.
The toe seam on this sock has a good sized "nub" of fabric on the outside of the foot next to the baby toe. It seemed no matter how much I tried to adjust the sock, I just could not get that nub into a place where it would not irritate my foot/toe. 

That nasty nub!!
I know from past experience that any kind of seam bump along that area of my foot spells
I was really bummed about this and took the socks off and went out in my run wearing my old stand by Balega's.
A couple days later I got out for a 10 mile run and immediately upon my return, I put on the CW-X socks and changed into my old trail shoes to do many hours of yard work. I then did 3+ hours of yard work and when I was done, my legs felt great! My old trail shoes have a much larger toe box than my Brooks Ravenna's so I did not suffer any kind of seam discomfort while doing yard work.

So why is compression important for muscle recovery?
While there is a limited amount of independent research conducted on the subject of these technologically advanced garments, studies have shown benefits include enhanced muscle stability, reduced muscle fatigue and soreness, and increased endurance; improved temperature regulation via moisture management and enhanced circulation; skin protection from UV rays; decreased risk of leg edema during travel; and increased removal of lactic acid.
~Running Times Magazine

I do know that I have certainly felt a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to recover after a hard workout wearing compression socks and sleeves. I will continue to use the CW-X socks as a recovery tool. It is my hope that after several washes, the little toe seam nub will soften or go away (???) and I will be able to run in them come warmer temps. I will even give them a go-for-a-run test in another new running shoe I am testing (shhhhh--details to come later) which also has a bit of a wider toe box.
This winter I invested in a pair of wool Pearl iZUMi cycling socks; now I am not a fan of wool sweaters and could not imagine for the life of me WHY anyone would want to wear wool socks. But after doing a bit of research on the subject, I decided to give wool socks a try. I love my Pearl iZUMi cycling socks so when it came time to try out more socks from, I made the leap to not only try a new brand but to also try WOOL running and cycling socks!

There was a big sock review in the recent issue of Runner's World and they gave a big thumbs up to the SmartWool's Women's PhD Running Light Mini Crew Sock so this was my first choice.

The PhD: Running Sock

The PhD: Cycling sock

I thought since the RUNNING sock was  a good choice, I might as well try the cycling version of this sock. prices were $11.17 for the running sock (normal retail for this sock is $18.95) and $14.17 for the cycling sock (normal retail $19.95) so that was a great savings. Plus add in the free shipping and you have a great deal of savings.

I really liked both styles-it was a seamless toe and I find the breathability of wool socks is certainly something I will continue to try. I was very pleased with the SmartWool socks-not at all itchy like I thought they would be. The running version of the PhD was plush and I did not get any hot spots-I think some bigger miles are needed to truly determine if this is an "endurance" sock. But I love the colors and the fit!

Thanks to for this opportunity to try some new socks and to share the Sock Love with my readers!

Now it's time for YOU to get a chance to try out the CW-X Ventilator Compression sock I reviewed today!

How do you WIN your own pair? usual, you must be a follower of Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood to enter. If you are not already a follower, just click the pretty little follow button on your right or follow me in Google Reader. Now--PLEASE leave ONE comment for EACH entry!

1-MANDATORY: Visit and take a look around. Tell me which sock you would try out first!

2-While at, sign up for their newsletter (on the left hand side of the screen). Not only will you get an extra entry to this contest, you will save 10% on your first order!

3-Place an order from and get 5 extra entries!!

4-Like on Facebook and tell them Jen from Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood sent you!

5-Follow SocksAddict on Twitter and send out THIS tweet: @SocksAddict CW-X #giveaway with @milesmusclesmom get your SOCKS ON!

6-Got a sock horror story to share? Tell me about it!!

That is 6 ways to earn an entry into this fabulous contest!!
I am going to accept entries until May 5th at midnight and a winner will be selected at random in one of the usually ways.

Disclaimer: the views expressed in this review are mine and those of my picky little feet; I was not asked to give a positive review in exchange for products from

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

(not so) Wordless Wednesday

The wonderful look of surprise when Lola found her first Easter treat
 on Easter morning this weekend!

Is there anything better than seeing your child smile
and hearing squeals of delight??

Those poor Peeps didn't stand a chance....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lil' Miss GU Getter (giveaway!)

What a great week and a half it has been--training has been going really well and I am enjoying myself immensely. I love that dog tired feeling at the end of a good workout but I also love feeling like I had hours left in me too!
Sunday's 10 mile run was a little off the training plan-it was supposed to be 10 miles pacing at 9:00 minute miles but I left the house a little annoyed with my darling husband and the first two miles were 8:20's. I felt good so I just kept going in the mid-8 pace range. The sun was shining, I was running along the beach and it was Easter Sunday.
Really, really good. I shed my shirt around mile 4 and ran in just my tank. At the turn around, I sucked down a GU Roctane (pineapple...yum!) some water and headed back. The wind was ripping off the ocean and slowed me down a bit for a couple miles (9:02 and 9:08) but I finished the run with an average pace of 8:40 and then did 2 hours of yard work and then did a ton of Spring cleaning, including washing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees! (yes, it needed a GOOD scrubbin')
I was Little-Miss-GO-Getter this weekend.
Must of been the GU Roctane~

Last year when I started racking up the miles on the road, I discovered just how important nutrition and hydration can be. Those extra calories can really make a difference on how long you can go and how you feel while going. GU gels were the first product I tried and it remains my go-to gel when I am out running, biking and tri-ing. When Scott from Outside PR sent me a big sampler of GU products to review, I was more than happy to be the guinea pig,  I had been wanting to try the Chomps and Roctane for quite a while!

The first GU product on my TO DO list was the GU Roctane. I waited to try this one before a long ride on the trainer and chose to try the Cherry Lime flavor first. Loved it! This is certainly my favorite of all the GU flavors. The perfect combo of sweet and tart. The Roctane did not dissapoint either--they don't call it GU  Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel for nothing!

How is Roctane different than the "regular" GU Gel?
From the GU Energy Labs website:
We start with original GU's superior mix of complex and simple carbohydrates that provide quick and sustained energy, electrolytes for replenishment and caffeine to tap more power and diminish pain. Fundamentally, Roctane is GU, just with more of the stuff that makes original GU so effective (histidine, branched chain amino acids, citrates) plus OKG, an added amino acid complex that lessens damage to muscle tissue during hard training or racing and speeds recovery. You can use GU and Roctane somewhat interchangeably, but Roctane is specifically formulated for your most intense training and racing. The higher concentrations of these key ingredients give you more of what your body needs when you need it most.

The next up on the list was the GU Chomps. Chomps are little gummies which deliver a blend of carbohydrates, amino acids, antioxidants and electrolytes in a chewable form.

The first Chomps I tried were the Cranberry Apple ones--on a cold, rainy 2 hour bike ride. My first impression of the Chomps was less than desirable. They were hard to chew, hard to get out of my teeth and hard to get down. I could not imagine having to choke these down on race day.
The second time I tried them was just this weekend on another 2 hour bike ride--but this time it was warm and sunny. I had packed the Orange flavor into my cycling vest and this time it was a totally different experience. They were soft and easy to get down. They were also quite yummy and reminded me of the little candy orange slices I would eat as a kid.
Temperature certainly made a big difference on the Chomps experience. The cold definitely affected the texture of them so I will make sure that it is not 30 degrees out next time I bring these along.

The newest member of the GU Family is the GU Brew Electrolyte Tablets. Proper hydration is so important. Not only DURING training but BEFORE and AFTER!!

OPTIMAL HYDRATION takes place in the days and weeks before an event or after a hard workout. Use GU Brew Electrolyte Tablets whenever, wherever, and you'll see a boost in preparation, sustenance, as well as recover.

I started using the GU Brew Electrolyte Tablets during cycling classes with Charles on Tuesday's which is always a guaranteed sweat-fest. I also started having these whenever I felt "thirsty". It is is a little tablet you just toss into your water bottle and it provides all the electrolytes you need with a just a little bit of fizz and a light flavor. At only 10 calories and 1 gram of carb, I don't have to worry about adding a ton of calories to my day. I just love the Peach Tea and I see these tabs being a big part of my training life, especially come this summer when the heat and humidity hit. Oh, and my training volume goes UP as well!!

Rarely are there times when I don't feel like eating food after a workout but some days I just want FLUIDS, like a protein shake or recovery drink! This is where I add in the GU Brew Recovery. Just mix this package with 16-24 oz of water, SHAKE WELL and drink. Make sure to shake really well-the first time I used the Recovery formula, I did not shake it very well and it was kind of clumpy. I was so dang ready for it though, I drank it down--chunks and all. I enjoyed both flavors equally-Orange Pineapple and Strawberry Watermelon. Recovery will deliver 250 calories, 52 grams of carb and 8 grams of protein per serving.

The premium quality ingredients in GU Recovery Brew help you quickly replenish energy stores and rebuild muscles after an intense workout. You’ll notice a difference when you compare us to the competition.

Protein: GU Recovery Brew relies on whey protein isolate -- not cheaper whey protein concentrate -- to create a higher quality and more effective product.

Amino Acids: Arginine and Glutamine promote recovery by mitigating the effects of intense training and supporting a strong immune system.

Carbs: Both simple and complex carbs (and lots of ‘em!) in optimal balance will re-fuel your competitive fire and get you back to training and racing on schedule.

Vitamins: Over 100% of daily allowances of vitamins C and E in every serving. Your free radicals will hate us!

All in all I am very pleased with all of the GU products I got to try out and I will continue to use GU Energy Labs as my "go to" source for fuel while training and racing.

Here is YOUR chance to win your very own GU Energy Labs Sampler!!

As usual, this giveaway is open to followers of Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood.
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1) MANDATORY ENTRY: Answer at least ONE of the following questions. Yes, you may answer all three and earn an entry for each answer:
a) what GU product do you want to try most & why?
b) what is your favorite GU flavor/product?
c) tell me about a time you wish you had GU!

2) Like GU Energy Labs on Facebook and tell them Jen from Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood sent you. Tell them what GU product you want to try next!

3) Follow GU Energy Labs on Twitter and follow ME on Twitter. Tweet about this contest and be sure to include @MilesMusclesMom and @GUEnergyLabs in your tweet.

4) Did you enter my Tommie Copper giveaway? If you did, you earned yourself an extra entry!

5) What year did GU Energy Gels launch? Answer correctly and get an additional entry!

6) Guess my finish time for my next Sprint Triathlon-The Polarbear Tri on May 7th.
It is a 525 yard swim, an 11 mile bike and a 5k partial trail run.
The closest guess to my actual finish time will win a BONUS prize from me!!

That is 8 ways to earn an entry into this exciting giveaway!!

I will accept entries until Saturday, May 7th at Midnight. I will select a winner at random from all eligible entries in one of the usual ways (, Lola picking names from a hat, asking someone to pick a number, etc.)

Disclaimer: The GU Energy Labs products were sent to me to review and I was not compensated for my opinion or asked to give a positive review in exchange for all this GU. All views expressed here are my own.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Copper Recovery (giveaway)

Get ready's time to start rolling out some new and exciting stuff which, of course includes some fun giveaways!

First up?
One of my (new) FAVORITE things:

Several weeks ago I was contacted by Jordan at Tommie Copper about doing a blog review and giveaway. I am a fan of compression garments but this was a whole NEW twist on the concept of any traditional compression product I have used:

Until now, compression wear was designed primarily for athletes to be worn for short periods of time to increase performance, enhance recovery and alleviate pain.
Today everyone can tap into these benefits with Tommie Copper's Cu29 Copper Compression products. The product line is enhanced with copper infused yarn and engineered to be worn all day, everyday. It acts as a support to aching joints and muscles, and delivers the benefits of copper at the point of your discomfort.

Unlike ordinary, bulky compression wear, Tommie Copper is made from a revolutionary, proprietary fabric.

Tommie Copper offers several options:

-Ladies and Mens compression shirts
-Ladies and Mens compression gloves

Deciding which type of compression garment to test was an easy choice; with the amount of running, biking and weight training I has on my training plan, I was going for the calf sleeves.

Do you remember back in January when I started going to Jared at OAPT and we changed a lot of my running bio mechanics (you can read about it here)? Well in my case, we eliminated the heel strike from my running and now I run using a mid-foot strike--the results mean the muscles that are now being used to RUN really engage the calves and the hamstrings. After long runs or hard runs, I would notice some soreness and tenderness especially in the calf.

I am skeptical about claims of magnetic bracelets for this ailment or those hologram bracelets for balance etc. so I was not really sure how copper infused fabrics would help with recovery. But, I really wanted to keep an open mind on this review and decided to give this test a full two weeks.

I received my package from Tommie Copper with two (very good looking) calf sleeves and I was immediately taken aback by how light, soft and silky the fabric was! This was nothing like the compression fabrics I had felt before.

So for the next two weeks, after each workout I would wear my calf sleeves for several hours. There were a couple workouts where my legs were really fatigued so I would wear them longer or even overnight to bed. They were so comfortable that I did not notice that they were even on.

I take an indoor cycling class on Tuesday mornings and starting a couple weeks ago, the class focus shifted to form based classes with lots of drills. These drills include one foot pedaling and candence drills. For those of you who are triathletes or cyclists, you know that spinning at 120+ rpm is a killer workout on the legs--especially when done with proper form. So, I started wearing my sleeves to class.

I was really pleased with the results I was seeing. My calf fatigue was MINIMAL and I found my recovery was a lot quicker. The only "problem" with this?
My calves felt great but the other leg muscles were not quite at "happy" (ie quads, hammies, glutes, hip flexors). I tweeted to Tommie Copper about this and I was told that some compression shorts are in the works! (Totally getting a pair once they do!!)

I gotta say the biggest test of the Tommie Copper sleeves came unexpectedly.

Last Saturday, my bestie Dawn and I got out for a 7 mile trail run on a cold, windy day. I am new to trail running so I am still learning my way around a tree root. I also wore an older pair of running shoes because I did not want to destroy some of my newer kicks with mud (yes, vain--I know). When I returned home from this run, I noticed I had a pain in a shin muscle. This pain was very reminiscent of the shin pain I suffered last summer and shut my running down for several weeks.

I put on the calf sleeves right away and wore them the rest of the afternoon and to bed that night.
I woke the next morning to ZERO pain, no soreness, nothing. My shin felt good as new. It was at that moment that I was totally sold on these calf sleeves. Just the difference in the muscle recovery between my upper leg and lower leg while wearing the sleeves was enough to convince me that they were working BUT this once incident sealed the deal for me.

So why Tommie Copper compression?
-their copper infused compression garments stimulate conductivity direct to the muscle
-increases circulation
-reduces inflammation

and they are MADE IN THE USA!!

I am so happy to share the Tommie Copper love with all of my readers and here is a chance to get YOUR OWN Tommie Copper product!

How to do you enter for a chance to win your own Tommie Copper compression garment?

First, you MUST be a follower of my blog!
If you are not already a follower, go ahead and click the FOLLOW button on the right.

Then there are four ways to earn an entry-
Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

1) Like Tommie Copper on Facebook and tell them Jen from Miles Muscles & Mommyhood sent you. Tell them which compression item you would pick and why!

2) Follow Tommie Copper on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway.
Please include @milesmusclesmom and @TommieCopper in your tweet!

3) Visit the Tommie Copper website and sign up for their newsletter--be the first to know when they officially launch!

4) Leave me a comment telling me which sleeve you would pick and/or a time when you wish you had some compression gear to help YOU!

I will accept entries until Saturday, May 1st at midnight and then a winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries.

Disclosure: I was sent this product by Tommie Copper for my honest review and did not receive any type of compensation for my positive review. All opinions expressed here are my own, and those of my happy calves.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's OK-Go Ahead and LAUGH!

Something pretty "epic" happened over the weekend and this is the first chance I have had to write about it.
My first "crash" in the clipless pedals.
Actually, it was not epic and it wasn't really a crash.
it was FREAKING hilarious....

It's Sunday afternoon and I got dressed to get out for a quick ride on the 11 mile loop around my 'hood to continue with #bikestreak. I have a beautiful new bike jersey from Tough Chik I have been DYING to wear since this WINTER!!
So I put my pretty pale pink Under Armour long sleeve thermal shirt on and the beautiful aqua and grey Tough Chik jersey on, ready to head out!

Super Cute huh??

I was standing in my garage, which is actually my home gym complete with large mirrors on the wall. I am standing there on my bike with the left foot clipped in and the right foot on the ground. I am admiring how cute this new jersey is in the mirror when I kind of lost my footing/balance and bang!
that's all she wrote folks....
me in all my glory, falling over sideways and unable to clip my left foot out in time to catch myself.
There I was, laying on my right side on the floor, bike on top of me-laughing hysterically.
It was pretty funny. It was pretty lame.
The most beautiful thing about this??
Hubby witnessed the whole thing.
After making sure I was fine (which was obvious by my laughter) all he had to say was,
"SO--did you get a good look at yourself?"
with that he chuckled and walked back into the house.
just a little bruise and some "bite" marks

Happy Hump Day!! Hope this made you laugh like I did....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Riding and Ryders (winner!)

Here we are , 5 days into #bikestreak and I'm having fun with it. I am enjoying getting outside more and more even if it is only for a pre-dinner quickie.

This mornings cycling adventure was an interesting one. I messaged Charles, my cycling instructor and told him I would forgo class today since I wanted to ride outside. My Mom had offered to watch Lola early in the morning so the plan was 30 on the bike and run the 5k loop. It was still early and cold so I did a quick warm-up on the trainer and then decided to get all bundled up to head out. I was planning on doing the 11 mile loop around my house 2-3 times but once I got out there and moving I decided that I would be only doing ONE loop today. It was cold, dark and windy. Go ahead--call me a whimp!

I logged a bit over 15 miles on the bike and then got out for a quick 3 mile run. Changed again, loaded up my bike, picked up Lola and headed on out to cycling class. A fun morning of cadence drills and I really feel like I got my money's worth out of training today!

But you did not come here to read about #bikestreak did you?
You wanna know who won the Ryder's giveaway, right??

There were 104 eligible entries for this contest. I wrote each name out on a big sheet of paper with the corresponding entry number and here is how the winner was selected.

"Hey Mom, I need you to pick a number between 1 and 104"
"What? Why?"
"Because I asked you to...please?"
"Ok. You did not sign me up for anything did you??"
"No Mom, it's a blog thing. Can you just pick a number 1-104??"
"Alright. Number 64 since it's your father's Birthday and he is 64 today"
"Perfect. Thanks Mom"

The winning comment?
I would get the VTX. They look bada** and the red ones look even better


So Jason, you will soon be looking BADA$$ my friend in your new Ryder's.
Please send me an email at jsmall14(at)maine(dot)rr(dot)com and I am gonna get you all hooked up so you look cool all summer long!

Thanks to all the entered! I have some super fun giveaways coming up so be sure to stop by again really, really soon.

Oh and Happy Birthday Daddy!
I love you and thanks for being my "race sponsor".
I could not do 1/2 of what I do without you! xoxo

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I decided to create a little challenge for myself:

It's not a crazy challenge, just a fun little way to rack up some miles and spend some quality time with Le Tigre! (aka The Tiger--my bike for those not in the know) or I may have to resort to the stat bike or spin bikes at the gym.
I'm gonna be flexible with this one.
Starting on April 15th I will bike each and every day.
The minimum I must bike is one mile-easy enough right?

will end on May 15th

I'm going to make this really fun for YOU>
Take a guess on how many bike miles I log during #bikestreak and the person closest to the actual mileage will win a prize!!

when #bikestreak is done, then I will be moving onto
(yup, you guessed it)

this will have the same set of rules-I must run every single day and the minimum must be one mile. The #runstreak will finish on June 15th

heck...while I am on a streak, why not celebrate the start of summer with
#swimstreak? Not sure what the minimum will be on this one.
Yup, #swimstreak will run June 15th until July 15th.

Who's with me??

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Good Morning Mr. Sun

Good Morning Mr. Sun!!
(as Lola says)

The sun is shining and I have a huge smile plastered on my face this morning.
Yesterdays weather was terrible-lots of pouring rain with thunder and lightening.

Today's forecast promises sunshine and 60's.
I'm feeling a LOT better--extra rest and that one dose of NyQuil did the trick! I am really feeling the itch to get outside!

I was thinking about last summer and how Lola and I would get up and out early for our jogging stroller runs. I would keep her occupied by singing to her or we would count the birds and the trees, or make a quick stop at the duck pond to say hello to the many ducks. I would also bribe her with M&M's or gummy bears on an as needed basis. As the sun would get higher in the sky we would greet Mr. Sun by saying "Good Morning Mr. Sun" and then pretend to reach up and tickle the sun (inspired by her favorite show Kai Lan).

I am looking forward to many early morning runs with my girl THIS spring and summer. Ahh, how she has grown since last year. I can just imagine what I will have to do this year to keep her entertained in the jogger? I wonder how much harder I will be working too, as she is quite a bit bigger and heavier!! What a great workout THAT is going to be.
I am so ready for nice weather! It has been a very long, cold winter.

Today's agenda?
some plyo & balanced based weight training followed by
Tuesday's with Charlie (aka indoor cycling class with Charles)
later today I am getting out for a run in the sun!

I am just exploding with energy today and ready to take it all in.

What are you looking forward to now that Spring is here??

Happy Tuesday all and don't forget to enter my Ryder's Eyewear giveaway!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I cannot catch a break lately.
First Lola was SOOO sick and of course, I was the one up with her all night, I would not have it any other way.
I got very little sleep.
I missed workouts.
My training plan shot to hell for the week.
This weekend Lola turned the corner with her illness and is on the mend. Just a bit of a cough but other than that, she is doing great.
Sunshine was on the forecast and I was so excited to take advantage of the nice weather!
I was lucky enough to catch it--Whatever critters invaded her lungs for the previous week and a half had moved into me. I felt it coming on Friday and by Saturday morning, I just knew it.
I did workout Saturday morning-5+ miles on the treadmill (progressions and hills) and then worked my legs in the weight room until my glutes caught on fire (I love a good burn).
I did the best I could with the run considering how junky my lungs felt.

Dawn and I took the kids to Joker's for an afternoon of fun.
Lola loves that big yellow tube-slide
Lola just beat me at a water gun game and she's celebrating
Eli climbing the rock wall
Of course, there was the obligatory Dunkin Donuts stop...
The cough just got worse as the day went on.

Saturday night was not a good night of sleep-I was up coughing, coughing.
Sunday morning was a cough-fest. I spent more time coughing than I did NOT coughing.  I tried to keep a positive outlook and was going to change my planned workout to an easy Zone 1/2 recovery effort brick (20 miles bike/5 miles run).
I was also hoping to make it to the Total Immersion clinic too but I would not even attempt to swim when I can breath on land.
Didn't happen. Not a single thing.
I just could not breathe. I could not stop coughing.
The only workout I got in was the tapity-tap of the keyboard while on Twitter and then turning the pages of the book, Born to Run while sacked out on the couch.
By 4pm Sunday afternoon, I broke down and drove to the pharmacy.
Time to bring out the big guns.
I don't like to take any kind of meds-ibuprofen included but I needed some sleep and I needed to stop coughing. I have not taken anything stronger than ibuprofen in about 3 years...
By 6pm I was out like a light. A full 11 hours of straignt of sleep and I woke up this morning feeling quite better! I can still feel a bit of a rattle in my chest, but wow. Much better than yesterday.
I am going to take it easy today but you betcha I'll be trying to get my sweat on...

You did enter my Ryder's Eyewear giveaway...right??

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vela, Velo, Voila! It's a Giveaway!

My future's so bright...I gotta wear shades!
Happy Friday!
I just saw the weather report and it appears that for the next couple of days Southern Maine will be hitting temps close to 60*--I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. After a craptastic week of training, I need to get out to run and bike.
Since I will be outside running and biking most of the weekend in this sunshine, there is one thing that will not leave my head!!
That would be my pair of Ryder's Vela sunglasses!

I'm celebrating sunshine with a review of my Ryder's and a giveaway!!

I got two pairs of glasses from Ryder's over a month ago and I have had many opportunities to try these two pairs out:


  • TINT: 37% VLT (visible light transmission)
Why pink a pink lens? Well other than it being my absolute favorite color, I just started swimming with a new pair of pink tinted swim goggles and I love them! The pink hue is very "happy".
But there is also some science behind it.
Rose- and vermilion-colored glasses really do make the world seem brighter. They provide excellent low-light visibility and enhance contrast. They also enhance the visibility of objects against blue and green backgrounds, which makes them ideal for driving or exploring in forested areas.

I love the mild pink tint of the lens



  • TINT: 57% VLT  (visible light transmission)
  • FIT: MEDIUM   
Why yellow? Yellow, gold and amber lenses provide less overall brightness protection, but excel in moderate-to-low level light conditions. They provide excellent depth perception, which makes them perfect for skiing, snowboarding and other snow sports. They also enhance contrasts in tricky, flat-light conditions.

Yellow lenses provide protection in low light.

THE VELA: These have become my everyday running and riding glasses. I have tried so many pairs of shades over the last two years and each time they fall short of my expectations.
They either slip down my sweaty nose or rub up against my cheeks and slide around. I am constantly having to adjust them which is distraction and annoying. The other thing that would drive me bananas is most of the glasses I'd wear would get all fogged up!
Not the case with the Vela.
The nose pads are adjustable to get a perfect fit and they are constructed of a soft, rubber-like material that is non-slip. The lens wraps around the eye area providing great wind protection (it's been crazy windy lately!) which I like. There are also non-slip grips on the temple area of the arms.
This style comes in a variety of colors and lens choices-a three lens interchangeable option is even available. While pink is my favorite color, in honor of The Tiger, I think I will be adding an orange pair to the collection as well.
I am super pleased with The Vela-functional and fashionable-this is a cool looking pair of shades.

Lola approved!

THE DEFCON:I have worn this pair out twice; once for a quick, 3-miler and then again for a 22 mile bike ride. Both days I opted to wear The Defcon because it was overcast and drizzling. I had never worn yellow lenses and the yellow provided a great contrast in the landscape. It also made the dark,dreary day a lot brighter. 
I always like to wear glasses when riding and having the yellow option is a great alternative on cloudy/dark days so I am enhancing my sight-not diminishing it with a dark, tinted lens.
As for the frame design, I liked the way it wrapped around the side, again providing protection from the elements. The nose pads are non-slip but do not offer the option of size adjustment like the Vela. The temple tips are also non-slip and this style did pretty much stay put with only a bit of movement on my face. The frames are comfortable and stylish. The Defcon is also offered in black and camo frames with several lens options available.

Now it's time for YOU to get your very own pair of Ryder's and get out there!
How do you enter to win??

It's easy!

You MUST be a follower of my blog to enter.
If you are not already a follower, just click the little FOLLOW button on the right hand side of the screen. Once you do that THEN:
You must complete at least ONE of the following to enter

1-Visit Ryder's website and check out their glasses. What pair would you pick if you won? Why? Tell me in a comment.

2-Then go to their Facebook page and tell them Jen from Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood sent you. Tell them which style YOU love!

3-Follow Ryder's Eyewear on Twitter and sent out the following tweet: Win @RydersEyewear from @milesmusclesmom & look good training

Easy peasy right? Please leave a separate comment for each entry. One winner will be selected from all eligible entries via or by Lola. Entries will be accepted until April 16th at Midnight.

**The Ryder's glasses were provided to me for review by Outside PR. The opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and I was not compensated for my positive comments in any way, shape or form.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I'm hoping to be AWESOME today because, well...
I'm sad.

Lola has been sick since Thursday and I hate seeing my little girl sick.
Sad that I cannot make her better instantly.
Sad that she wakes up coughing and crying.
Sad that she cannot sleep through the night.
Selfishly sad that my training schedule has taken a total beating this week-
and not a "good" beating.
So today,
I'm going to be AWESOME.

Even if it means only 20 awesome minutes on the trainer.
Or two awesome miles on the treadmill.
Heck, I'll even take 100 awesome crunches!

How are YOU going to be AWESOME today?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lucky #3-The Nor'Easter Reverse Triathlon

2:30 am until 4:30 am-That is two hours
That is how much sleep I got the night before (well, actually isn't this the morning of...?) the race.
The night before that I logged a total of 4 hours.
As you recall from the 3 Lemons post, Lola has been sick and this has resulted in many awake hours during the night to care for her. But the number 3 played it's way into the race several times...

Loud & Proud-I love bright colors on race day! (well, anyday really)

Saturday night I got most of my gear together, set up and ready to go. My hubby would be staying home with Lola and my Dad would be my support crew for the race.

Going into race day, I was questioning how I would actually perform based on the lack of sleep and decided to throw my own personal performance expectations out the window and just do the best I could. Letting go of that and being more concerned with Lola and her illness actually made for one of the calmest race mornings I have had to date.

Getting ready Lola helped me braid my hair and picked out the three colored elastics to hold the bottom of my braid-a purple one, a pink one AND a blue one. I explained to her that I was racing today and the three elastics would bring me luck since she could not be there to give me my normal "High Five" (example here). I promised her that I would do the best I could for HER today.

My Dad arrived on time to pick me up and I ran back inside to get one more good luck hug and kiss from Lola and hubby.

I got to UNE and got my bike checked and hands marked (#230). They marked the tops of our right and left hands since it IS April in Maine and very few were out running/biking in shorts and short sleeves! I chatted with some friends and got set up in transition-which was inside the Athletic Center.

Michelle and Me

Shortly after setting up, I met up with Michelle (aka ltlindian from average girl doing average things-- check out her race report HERE) who was doing her first triathlon today and won my RoadID giveaway contest! Then it was time to get out and warm up. I ran an easy 2 miles along the course with (another) Michelle and then it was time to line up.

When I returned from my warm up, I saw that Dawn had arrived to cheer me on and I was so happy to see her smiling face!

Two of the fittest and nicest guys I know, Todd (L) and Rick (R)

Since this is a reverse triathlon, the run was first then it was onto the bike and then we would finish up with a quick 150 yd serpentine swim in the UNE pool.

My Dad giving me my pre-race pep talk!

The guys started at 9:00 am and the ladies started at 9:03 am. I was feeling good about the run based on my run on Saturday and the warm up. I started right up front (which I normally don't do) and went out easy. The first 100 feet or so were up a little hill so I just chugged along and then the ladies at the lead of the pack fell into a single line. At the 1/2 mile mark I was about 7 or 8 behind the lead runner but then I moved up and passed a couple gals. This is right about the time I hit something on my Garmin (ummm, stop maybe??) and it stopped recording for about a mile or so. Then I heard the pat pat pat of a pair of feet running up behind me and this thin, bubble gum pink streak passed me and eased her way to the front of the pack, very quickly. No one caught her either. I held my pace back not wanting to burn out early and reminded myself that I still had to bike and swim. I eased up to the 4th female position and started passing some of the men. This was such a comfortable run and I felt fantastic the entire time. I finished the run 4th with a time of 20:56 and average pace of 6:59.

Line 'em up! With Alison, Kristen, Michelle and BD waiting to run

0:44 Could have been faster, I definitely have room for improvement here. I slowed down thru the gym and Josh, my bike guy yelled for me to move it. Love it that he did that!! Plus, I was messing with my gloves too long.

Heading out to Bike Mount-yes, that is SNOW in the ground

It was the longest walk/run ever from transition to the Bike Mount line and I struggled a for a moment getting on-it all seemed to happen in slow motion. My legs felt good and and I was pretty much alone getting out on the bike course. When I finally got into a rhythm, I glanced down at my computer and saw 31 flashing at me and knew there was no way in heck I was pushing 31mph! Then I saw that the computer had been put onto km and not miles. What was my major malfunction with gadgetry today??? Now I know it is pretty simple math to convert km's to miles but I wasn't really in the mood to be doing any kind of math!
Note: after the problems with the Garmin on the run, I never reset it since I was going to depend on the bike computer for this leg. Yeah-another smart move!
I just went by feel and since I do know this bike course so well, I felt confident on the road. Once we hit Oakridge, this is when the winds could really be felt. I ride this road frequently and while I enjoy the newly paved asphalt, on a windy day this road is like a giant wind tunnel. There are a couple small, rolling hills but when you have 20mph winds blowing AT you, it can feel like a stand still. About 6 miles into the bike I saw the familiar green jacket of another female who finished just ahead of me on the run. This is when the competitor in me reared it's big, ugly head.
Remember THIS post where I talked about how I don't really consider myself competitive against others and only myself??
The only thoughts I had the last several miles of the bike were:
catch her. pass her. catch her. pass her. catch her. pass her. catch her. pass her.
I repeated this ad nauseum until finally, with only about a mile left on the bike, I did pass her. Then several minutes later, I felt the crush of defeat - just as we were heading into the bike dismount area, she whizzed past me. I was furious (with myself)! I had pushed so hard to catch her and then finally pass her only to have her whiz by. Damn!
During this little game of chase, I learned something about myself. While I don't consider myself one that is deeply competitive with other athletes, I certainly saw a new side to my race personality on the bike leg. I wanted nothing more than to catch the girl in the green coat. That was my focus and it pushed me. I was like a shark that smelled blood in the water. I needed to catch her and I needed to pass her. I really enjoyed the chase and would have enjoyed it even more if I held that lead that I worked so hard to get. I think I need to access this deep, almost hidden side of my personality and bring her out more often. A big, ole hairy beast that is out for blood. I think I am ok with that.
As I crossed the bike dismount line, my friend and fellow tri club peep, Marc informed me that I was 4th female in. It was another long run in the bike shoes around the side of the Athletic Center and back into transition. While I felt great on the bike, I think I could have done much better here. Looking now at my average pace, I think I could have pushed harder right out of the gate and not waited until "the chase" to bring it. I consider running my favorite of the three diciplines but I am quickly starting to love, love, love the bike!!
That being said, I was 2nd overall female for the bike split with a time of 37:48, 17.5mph average speed.

1:26 Again, could have been much faster here. I was struggling to strip my layers off and my Garmin got stuck in the process. I was so annoyed, I stood on my sleeve and just yanked! I now have a nice little strip of bruising along my left wrist and thumb. Then I ran off without my swim cap and goggles. If it was not for my friend, Misty (who was volunteering that day) yelling to me, I would have forget them all together. I went back for the goggles only.

The Swim
Uggh, 150 yards is not much of a swim. Heck this is less than half of my swim warm up. Let's just say that my swim was less than stellar. I was had been going on blast since the last half of the bike and I needed my breath. I swam the first few lengths in typical freestyle fashion-I am sure not much good could be said of my form-and then actually swam 1/2 length on my side just to get some good, solid oxygen into my lungs. Then I felt ok and finished a bit stronger than I started. As I finished up the last lap of the swim, I could see Dawn peering into the window from outside, giving me a smile and a thumbs up! I waved and finished up the swim. I was really never so happy to stop swimming even though the water felt great!
Swim time for 150 yards? (don't laugh!) 3:28. Like I said, I think this was pretty weak but whatever. It is what it is.

Total Time: 1:04:19.5
3rd Place Female Overall

What a fun day!

Considering all that led up to this race, I was pleased with how well things went.
I believe that there is always room for improvement and if you don't learn SOMETHING from race day, you were not paying attention.

During the awards ceremony, I was quite surprised when they were announcing the Overall Females and I heard my name for Third. I am sure there are no pictures available of the complete confusion written across my face.  I was quite certain I was fourth but as it turns out, the gal in bubble gum pink that whizzed by me on the run, was the overall winner--but since was one of the race coordinators, she was just racing for fun and did not put herself into the "official" race field. So, that bumped me up to third.

In my heart, I know I finished fourth--but I will accept my Third Place Overall Female award with a smile (which is a jacket with the race logo on it) and enjoy my first ever Podium finish.

I see some great opportunities for me to become better and faster - I have just a couple short weeks until the next Sprint!

Next up: The Polarbear Sprint Triathlon on May 7th