Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Saucony Triumph ISOs...comfortable, light and FAST!

Disclosure: FitFluential provided me the Saucony Triumph ISO to opinions, which should come as no shock to you, are my own...

As we head into the winter "base training" time of year...building those miles that will lead to happines and PRs in 2015, we're always loking for shoes that will get us through the cold weather, long miles and dare I say it...treadmill runs required for the winter.

Well, lucky enough for me, I got this awesome pair of to the Saucony Triumph ISOs in the mail. Ok, can we just talk about how AWESOME this packaging is?! When you open the actually says "whoa" from this little embedded music chip in the box. Hilarious!!!

The shoes themselves just look fast. I love the color combo and I LOVE the construction. Saucony built the shoes with an inner sleeve (read no tongue) out of this stretchy mesh. When sliding your foot into the feels less like a shoe and more like a sock. The interior sleeve molds around your foot. Rather than a traditional "outer shell" with lace holes, Saucony went with a "support cage" over the 1 piece sock-like interior.  What does that mean for the wearer? It means it makes one darned comfortable shoe!

The shoe has a number of key features to give you better "run feel": the support frame of the shoe locks your heel in place (no sliding front to back in the shoe while your running which means no more blisters on the front of you toes while maintaining a snug fit!), the 8mm offset heel to toe helps out us mid foot to heel strikers (with cushioning built in to better absorb impact), and the shoe ONLY weighs 10.3 ounces! Add all the aforementioned up...and the result is a cushioned shoe that's light weight and forgiving...which leads to a comfortable foot strike...with allows quicker turnover...which equals a FASTER YOU!!!

Ya, that's my WHOAface right there. Not a bad 10k time at all.
Now if you've been following me, you'll know that I haven't been able to run the distances/times I want, or even run outside because of some heart issues...and I been hamstrung to...the...dreadmill! However, I found that the Triumph is the ONLY shoe I've ever worn that is as comfortable on the treadmill and it is on the road!!! Speaking of, there's a 10k I run every year and in spite of what I feel like has been the lack of mileage I normally have at this point and the heart stuff, I just couldn't bear to miss it. How'd I do? Well, I didn't run a PR (45:32 isn't slow, but its slower than my usual) but I did run faster than I thought I would given the breaks in my run training. I attribute a good portion of the to the shoes. The snug, comfortable fit coupled with the lighter weight meant I got my feet up and down quicker and maximized my effort. That meant all I had to do was focus on pushing myself to the finish. I'm looking forward to seeing how these shoes perform at longer distance (I really think the cushioning will pay off on those high miles weeks and at the 13.1 and 26.2 distances) and how much faster the make me as my fitness comes back.  Certainly a shoe I'd recommend to other runners...and more importantly...a shoe I'd go out and buy with my own hard earned money!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I look legit! Thanks to lululemon.

I consider myself extrememly lucky to have been selected as a lululemon ambassador two years in a row and now enjoy the title of "alumni ambassador". I prefer to think of it as regal title moving forward...instead of a nice way of saying I as put out to pasture. LOL. I still stop by the store and keep up with people and product but lululemon has moved on to a new set of ambassadors, all awesome in their own way.

Well, imagine my surprise when I was approached to do a photo shoot for an upcoming product newsletter. Honestly, it couldnt have come at a better time. Dealing with all my heart issues and not being able to train the way I'd like, but still trying to train hard nonetheless, I've been a little down in the dumps lately and have been struggling with the way I look and my "return to form".  I was taken aback that I'm still considered "picture worthy".

Screencap of the email that went out
We shot pictures out on the trails at local Wellesley College. Which I have to admit is a great area to run in. The trails are normally groomed/cleared year round and its a little gem just off the 135 Boston Marathon route.

It was in the high 30's so perfect for winter running gear. I was wearing: the Sweat Session 1/2 zip with reflectivity on the neck and arms which you can see in the photo (a cool aspect is the reflectivity is built into the seams so you don't see it unless struck by light) with thumb hole sleeves to help keep the cold out, the Surge reflective tight (which is the best fitting, most comfortable tight I've ever owned with a brushed interior, pockets on both hips AND a zippered pocket in back) and the Pace Gloves which not only are perfect for the around 30's temp but also feature 'tech friendly fingertips' so you can use your smartphone for tunes or to catch the perfect run selfie.

Huge props to lululemon photographer Melanie because in just a short amount of time she amassed some pretty awesome shots and made me look like a rockstar!

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's disheartening...ya, that's the best I got

So the day after Thanksgiving finds me at a new cardiologist. Seems that I'm suffering a "tachycardia upon re-entry". That means my heart short circuits after extended high level use and that's what kicks off the rapid heart rate spikes I've been suffering from....until I either stop and the heart rate slowly comes down...or while I run the heart eventually "resets" itself and returns to normal.

After a lengthy discussion with my new cardiologist, I have two courses of action: take medicine and stop being active (ya, like I'm gonna do that) or get the event recorded and have it ablated. 

The cardiologist says it's a positive thing that these HR spikes haven't done any damage...or killed me. If I was suffering from any syndromes or were in poor health this would be a much different discussion. However, I'm in great shape (and so is my heart) the doc thinks I'm ok short term. Now we need to "catch" the event. For the next seven days I get to wear an event monitor (think pager hard wired to me, that connects to its own cellphone to transmit my heart rate data to the docs). "Catching" it allows the docs the ability to confirm the type of tachycardia and where it's located in my heart.

Sadly, that's not the end. Next stop is to have the tachycardia ablated. That means I go in for surgery consisting of snaking a device through my femoral artery, up to my heart and with an electric shock they burn out the short circuit. 

Ya, I'm more than a little agitated about another surgery...but to wipe this thing out for good and let me get back to training and racing is worth the effort. Now to make as many spikes happen as I can over the next week...