Friday, June 24, 2016

Runfessions: June Edition

I cannot believe that it is already time for my June Runfessions. But isn't that how it is with summer? It just goes too fast! Anyways, if you haven't runfessed before, let me tell you that it is the best feeling in the world. Runfessions, hosted by Marcia's Healthy Slice, is that once a month opportunity to get everything off your chest. No judgements. Pull up a seat. We're all here for you. It feels good.

So what am I runfessing this month?

Forearm stand fail!
This week I finally got up into forearm stand unassisted. I was so excited! Between Becky's training and Marcia's pushup/plank challenges, I'm getting stronger and I love it. But I runfess that it took me 4 attempts to do the pose and once I finally got up I held the pose for what felt like a minute but was actually about 2-3 seconds. As you can see by the title photo above, I had a few tumbles too. Glad I was the only one in the park that morning!

Forearm stand success!
About 2 months ago, the check engine light came on in my car. My neighbor, who is a mechanic, checked my car and told me that I needed a new catalytic converter. He said it would be under warranty and I should take it to the dealer. Easy peasy, right? Wrong... Long story short, 2 visits and about 6 hours of my life that I will never get back and my car isn't fixed. Those appointments were to "diagnose" the problem. The story now is that the part is "backordered". I'll spare you the details of the rigamarole I went through to get to this point. I runfess that I am going to keep my car until it dies. Whether it's for a repair or to buy a new car, I think there is nothing more painful that walking into a car dealership.

I runfess that for my most recent giveaway, I was so relieved that the winner was a runner. It seems that every time I host a giveaway, there are certain folks that always enter. When I chase their links, it seems that all they do is enter giveaways. What do they do with the prizes? Sell them on ebay? It makes me mad. But I can write about it today because I'm pretty sure that they aren't reading this post! After all, I'm not giving anything away. Oh and by the way, if you are commenting on a post for a giveaway entry, take the time to read the post to see what is actually being given away. I had multiple people comment on how much they couldn't wait to win the "compression socks" when in fact I was giving away compression pants.

I runfess that yes, I've succumbed to Facebook's lure to "boost" a post. I've made no secret of the fact that the blog book club posts get little to no traffic on social media. I have several loyal book club members and I am so grateful for them! Recently I've had 2 authors of excellent running related books reach out to me. I want to give them a big boost! But how can I grow the book club if my posts get no views? So I paid to promote the book club. It was truly amazing how $10 gave my book club post over 2000 views. And brought a whole bunch of new readers to the blog and to my Facebook page. I'll do it again.

Last week, I saw a patient whose mother is running the Chicago marathon for the first time. She asked me a lot of questions. Talking with her made me feel a little sad that I'm not running it this year. But I runfess that if someone offered me an entry to run, I'd do it. But that's all fantasy. In reality, this week I made the decision not to run the Rock 'N Roll Chicago Half Marathon. My foot is really bothering me. I'm going to bonus runfess that I am really tired of having plantar fasciitis. That's the only whine I'll do but I had to put it out there. No advice please. Just needed to get it off my chest. I'm going to keep the mileage low and head back to the pool.

Damn straight...
What do you have to runfess? Any bonus (aka whinefessions)? 

I'm linking up with Marcia's Runfessions!

I'm also linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five! Five runfessions, right?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Music to Get Lost by

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love to run to music. Actually, music makes everything better.  I have a heinous commute to my job and music makes the drive tolerable. Recently, my oldest son updated my car stereo to a Bluetooth (no more tickets for talking on the phone while driving!). I've always listened to music in the car, but now with my new system listening to my favorite tunes is a special kind of pleasure. Road tripping takes on a whole new meaning when you have the right songs to pass the time.

The same thing goes for the run. With the right song playing through my earbuds, I feel as if I can fly. I have playlists for normal runs and for speedwork. For a big race, I make special playlists full of my current favorites. There are certain songs that just make me want to set the pace on cruise control. Those are my LSD* songs. Running slow is a challenge for me. The right music helps me pace myself on those long runs.

My only prerequisite for my long run songs is that they have to be familiar to me. I like to sing along sometimes. I also like to mix it up with new music--so if it has a good beat and I can run to it? Sure, why not?  Eclectic much?

Yep, I'm that runner.

Caveat: It's important to stay alert, especially if you are running alone. But there is nothing better than the right song to move you down the road or trail. If you're hurting, there's nothing better than singing to help the pain go away.

Plus you can ponder the lyrics.

Scaramouche, scaramouche, can you do the fandango?

I didn't name this blog Taking the Long Way Home for the fun of it. I like to get lost on the run.

What are your favorite songs to get lost to? Do you like to sing along to songs on the run? What do you think scaramouche means? What was Queen thinking?

By the way, I had the 45 RPM of this song when I was in 4th grade. Let that soak in...

If you want to check out this playlist, follow me on Spotify!

*LSD=long slow distance. What did you think I was talking about?

I'm linking this post up with Deb Runs, who hosts Wednesday Word! Today's word is lost. See what everyone else says..

I'm also linking up with the ladies at Wild Workout Wednesday! Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle host this fun gathering of bloggers!

And Coaches' Corner! Do you think the coaches let their trainees run with tunes? Ask Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life Goes On....My Week on the Run

This was a tough week for everyone. It seemed that every time I turned on the news, there was a tragic story coming out of Florida. First, it was the story about the young singer, Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed after a performance by a stalker. Then, the unfathomable killing of 50 people in a nightclub in Florida by a self-proclaimed follower of Isis. And while that story was still unfolding, there was the news of a 2-year old who was dragged by an alligator into a lagoon at Disney World while his parents watched, horrified. Meanwhile, the internet was all judgy-judgy towards these poor parents.

It was all just too much.

Some bloggers chose to write about the Orlando nightclub massacre on their blogs. I decided to stay true to my blog and continue to write about running. In fact, I published some humorous posts, which I had prepared in advance of all the bad news. When these stories broke, I seriously reconsidered publishing those posts. Was it inappropriate to write about pooping when everyone was dealing with such horrible news?

Humor has always been a coping mechanism for me. It isn't that I try to make light of horrible circumstances. But sometimes tragedy and bad news are just so overwhelming it can threaten to crush our spirit.

Instead, I choose to laugh about the oddities of everyday life. For me, humor is a distraction.

Thankfully, you all thought so too. No one called me out on my posts--the one about my random thoughts while running or my tongue-in-cheek post about pooping on the run (crude title and all). In fact, one of my regular readers, Paria, who writes beautiful, thoughtful posts on her blog Momontherunsanity and for Women's Running, and who penned a beautiful piece for that publication on the Orlando tragedy commented "LOL! I needed a good laugh! I haven't had one in days." 

I'm glad that I have humor as a coping mechanism. Life is hard. While I wrote about funny things, this week my thoughts have been with those folks affected by all the bad news coming out of Florida.

"Life isn't about waiting for a storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." -unknown

I am also glad to have running as a coping mechanism! After Sunday's tough run, where I had to call my husband to pick me up, I thought I was going to have to take some time off the road. My foot hurt badly on Monday morning--will this PF ever go away?--and I made plans to head back to the pool the next day for some aqua jogging. But Tuesday morning I woke up with no foot pain! It was a gorgeous morning, and the thought of heading to the indoor pool was not at all appealing. My run felt amazing and I'm so glad I chose to run.

Here's how the rest of my week shook out:

Monday: yoga on the deck. I thought I would try to stretch out my lower legs and give my foot some relief. I had Cocoa on the mat as well. Turns out, she likes yoga too!

Cocoa and me in side stretch. She did this multiple times!
Tuesday: 5.18 miles/44:40 Push-ups.

Wednesday: Yoga with Kathy at the studio. This was an amazing restorative/therapeutic class. We held each pose for 3-5 minutes. It was almost yin-like. I felt fabulous, physically, after this class. I left class feeling more at peace than I had in awhile. During our poses, she provided her usual insight and wisdom. One thing she said stuck with me all week: "find your innate goodness". What a great thought to have as I headed to my wild, crazy job in the clinic!

Thursday: 5.5 miles/ 46:43 It was a cloudy, humid, windy morning and I fought through this run. I was shocked and pleased at the pace I eaked out. After running, I went to see Becky where she tested me on my strength. Grateful that I had been doing my homework, she was pleased. She had me work on a new high bar move, kipping bar swings. Apparently I have tight shoulders and can't fully get into this one. More homework. I finished up with 50 kettlebell swings and 50 atomic situps. The situps took me forever. I'm uncoordinated and my core is wimpy. More homework.

Do you sense a theme here?

Friday: rest

Saturday: 5.18 miles/43:29. I stopped 3 times at the playgrounds on my neighborhood route to do my homework: high bar hangs, scapular pullups, and those kipping bar swings. I also did 80 pushups (sets of 25, 30, and 25). Gittin' 'er done.

Sunday: The pup woke me up at 4:30 am to go outside. After I took her out, she wanted to bite me for a while. Finally, she settled down and we fell back asleep until 7:15. By then, the temperature was already heating up. I also had a few things to do, so I decided to ride my bike today. The only bad thing about going later in the morning is that there are more people on the paths and on the road. I don't know if it was the heat or what but people were driving like maniacs today. Mrs. Kravitz called 911 after 2 drag racing cars almost took her out of commission. Seriously, I hope they got caught. That was frightening. I was getting ready to cross the street when I heard them coming. They were flying. That got my adrenaline pumping! The rest of my ride was uneventful, except for a snake crossing the path! Yikes. It was 90F when I got home.
25.27 miles/103 mins.

Hydrating and fueling with Tailwind
News you can use:

My giveaway ended on Friday! Congrats to Amy from The Tiny Terror for winning her choice of an item from SKINS! Thanks to everyone who participated.

If you didn't win, don't fret! I've got a discount code for you so you can purchase the item you wanted from SKINS! SWEATPINK-SKINS20 will get you 20% off any item except sale items! The code is good until July 31.

The book club linkup opened on Friday and will remain open for 2 weeks! It's not too read this month's book and post your review. Or if you want to read another fitness related book, feel free to link that one up.

Have a great week!

I'm linking this post up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!

I'm also linking up with Angela and Ilka! Check it out!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Review: First Ladies of Running by Amby Burfoot

Looking for inspiration? Then you need to read this month's Taking the Long Way Home Book Club's selection for June: First Ladies of Running: 22 Inspiring Profiles of the Rebels, Rule Breakers, and Visionaries Who Changed the Sport Forever by Amby Burfoot. Burfoot, an accomplished runner in his own right and long time Runner's World writer, profiles 22 women who changed the history of women's long distance running.

You've come a long way baby...

I was so excited to read this book. After all, I was raised in the era when Title IX came to fruition. In 1972, an educational amendment was passed which declared:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Not only education, this amendment extended to sports. Prior to the passage of Title IX, women were not allowed to participate in many sports. Reading this book took me back to those days when the women were discouraged from many sports because they were felt to be too "fragile" to participate. Reading this book brought me back to my own childhood in the early 1970s when the only "sports" I was encouraged to try out for were cheerleading or tennis. How far we've come since then!

The women featured in this book were the pioneers of women's road running. It's hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago that women were banned from running long distance road races. Imagine lining up to run a race and being physically removed from the course or having the finish line blocked by men who refuse to let you run!

Familiar to most runners is the story of Kathrine Switzer and the Boston Marathon. This is one of the 22 stories included in the book. The picture of Kathrine being stopped by race officials is the stuff of legend. But contrary to popular belief, she wasn't the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. The first woman to run Boston was Roberta Gibb.

When Bobbi Gibb applied to run Boston, she didn't know that women weren't allowed to run the race. She applied to run and was denied. The denial letter stated that it was "against the rules" for women to run farther than 1.5 miles. She was told that the marathon distance was "too long" for women. The race officials probably thought her uterus would fall out or something. No matter. Bobbi lined up to run, unofficially, and ran a 3:21:40 marathon, which was promptly denounced by officials. Her finish has since been made "official".

Besides the well-known legends of Switzer and Gibb, Burfoot shares plenty of other inspiring but lesser known stories about the women who paved the path for those of us who run today. My personal favorite was the story of Miki Gorman, who didn't start running until she was 33 years old and set a marathon world record in 1973! She also won the Boston and New York City Marathons in 1977 and won a marathon in her 40s, at the time the oldest woman to do so.

Burfoot does a great job with spotlighting the women who changed women's running. You'll recognize many of the names--Joan Benoit Samuelson, Mary Decker-- but there are several that weren't familiar to me. This book is really a trip through the history of women's long distance running. The only woman he includes that seemed an odd choice to me was Oprah Winfrey. Yes, Oprah's Marine Corps Marathon finish proved to everyone that any woman was capable of running a marathon. Of course, there were the naysayers who had to remind everyone that Oprah's personal trainer ran the race with her. The truth is that Oprah inspired a lot of women to take up running. And yes, a lot of us use Oprah's finish time of 4:29:20 as a time to beat in our own marathons.

True story.
But to include her in this book? I don't know if she deserves to be profiled along with these running legends. I wonder what they would think about this.

Still, that's a minor quibble about what was an excellent read. Since each chapter profiles just one of the 22 women, this book can be read in short bursts. The profiles are well written and I was just fascinated by the stories of all these running pioneers. After finishing this book, I felt a sense of gratitude to the women who went the distance even when they were told they couldn't. As Burfoot says, now, in 2016 over 50% of runners are women, and 40% of marathoners are women.
"So I learned an important lesson: Running isn't just about running. It's about the sense of empowerment you get from going the distance. That empowerment can help you succeed in so many other activities." -Kathrine Switzer
We've come a long way, baby!

If you want to read more about the First Ladies of Running, there's a Facebook Page linked to the book.

Did you read the book? What did you think? Who was your favorite runner profiled? Did you agree with me that Oprah was an odd choice to be included in this book?

Here's the link up badge! You can find the linkup at the end of this post. The linkup stays live for 2 weeks. Comments stay live forever! Please remember to link back to this post. Try to read and comment on the other reviews. If you want to review a different fitness-related book, please feel free to link those posts up as well. I'm so grateful to all of you who participate in the book club. Let's grow this thing!

Next month we are reading Mark Remy's Runners of North America: A Definitive Guide to the Species.  In this book, Remy presents 23 species of runners and gives us the tools to observe and communicate with them. Best known for his Runner's World column "Remy's World" as well as his Dumb Runner blog, Remy takes an irreverent look at running. It's marathon training season and I thought it would be fun to have a humorous book to read. The reviews have been really good! I hope you join us for this one! The review and linkup will go live on July 15.

An InLinkz Link-up

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sh** or Get Off of the Portapotty

Oh no.

You're the runner who arrives late to the race. The corrals are getting ready to close and ignoring the call of nature, you squeeze into whatever corral is open. Even if it's not the one you are assigned to.

Maybe you signed up at the last minute for the race. Got in under the wire. Picked up your bib on race morning. You're feeling the pressure, trying to get ready to run the race.

Or maybe you signed up for the race that morning.

You get in line for the portapotties. All the lines around you are moving forward except for yours. And it's last call for the start.

What to do? Do you ignore the thunder from down under? Rolling the dice and risking a code brown on the race course? Or do you heed the warning signs and risk missing the start of the race?

Sorry for the crude title to this post. But have you ever done this? I think most of you know what I'm talking about here.

There has to be nothing more panic-inducing for a runner than not being able to take care of business prior to a race. Can't get out the door in time? Stuck in traffic? Late to a race?

Imodium, anyone? It doesn't always work.

It might surprise a lot of you that in general, I'm somewhat of a procrastinator. As type A as I can be, I'm not great about planning ahead. I often sign up last minute for a race. I've run a lot of races but I still can't get it together on race morning.

I put the "pro" in procrastination.

Even though I may be a procrastinator I am good at prioritizing. One of my priorities is making sure that I don't have any unexpected surprises along the race course.

Sh** happens. Especially to long distance runners. No one wants to talk about it. It's one of those unpleasantries we have to deal with. And if it hasn't happened to you, you've run up behind a runner who has.

Don't you wonder what the elites do about this? Does Shalane have potty problems?

Even though I may wait until the last minute to sign up for a race, I make sure I give myself plenty of prep time on race morning to make sure--ahem--that there are no unexpected surprises. Which includes getting to the race with plenty of time to spare. There have been a few races that I've gotten to the start late. It's not a good feeling to cross the start line with unfinished business rumbling in your tummy.

Pretty sure you catch my drift. Well, actually, I hope you don't. Ahem.

While I can't control everything, I do the best I can by:

The week before a race: My diet is bland. Boring. No salads. Nothing green. No corn. No beef. Lots of cheese, chicken, bread, and low fiber foods. Foods that are easy to digest. My family complains.

The night before a race: Thin crust cheese pizza. A glass or 2 of wine. Tried and true. I had a friend who had shrimp scampi the night before a race. Garlic and butter were not a recipe for success. I also review the race course and check out the location of the aid stations. Knowledge is power.

The morning of the race: Coffee for motility and energy. Cereal for a blood sugar boost. Orange juice and vitamins. A few trips to the bathroom before I leave the house with plenty of time to spare. I make sure to have extra wipes in my waist pack. Just in case.

Before the race: While in line for the portapotty, I sip on my secret weapon. I take 8-12 ounces of Tailwind Nutrition to keep my blood sugar up and to hydrate. After using the portapotty, I get back in line again for insurance.

During the race: I take frequent sips of Tailwind. I try to time my sips with every song on my playlist, which usually turns out to be about every 4 minutes or so. The goal is 24 ounces of Tailwind every hour.

This plan of action has worked really well for me the last couple of years. Sometimes it's a little warm and I need to drink extra water at the aid stations. Sometimes it's a little cool and I have to stop to pee. One time I left my Tailwind bottle in the car and you can bet that I sprinted back to grab it. With no time to spare to start the race, I even gave up one of my prized portapotty trips.

No matter what fueling plan you have, make sure you test it out before you race. My final advice here is "nothing new on race day." Unless you are a gambler.

All in the name of success. All with a little planning ahead.

Are you a procrastinator? How do you plan for the unexpected on race morning? Any horror stories to share? What fuel works for you?

Have you entered my giveaway? Check out the featured post on the sidebar and enter to win a pair of SKINS DNAmic compression gear!

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word is procrastination. Of course, I'm writing this post at the last minute....

I'm also linking up with the ladies of Coaches' Corner! Debbie, Lora, Rachel, and Susie all have great info for all of us!

And Wild Workout Wednesday! Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle are the hosts!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Things I Think About When I'm Not Thinking About Running

Well, isn't that interesting!

I found myself saying that to myself, multiple times this week, both on and off the road. As it turns out, when you aren't training for anything, you start to pay more attention to the everyday minutiae of life. Instead of focusing on pace, my thoughts start to wander to other things. It's a nice change for me.

For this week's recap, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts that I have while I'm on the road.

But first things, first. How did my week of training go?

Monday: hip work and Tabata Hollows to Supermans at home
Tuesday: 5.04 miles/42:19 mins; pushups 2 sets of 20; high bar hang x 3
Wednesday: yoga at the studio
Thursday: 5.29 miles/43:57 mins; CrossFit with Becky: rope climbs, handstand prep, lunges with overhead plate, slam balls
Friday: complete rest day
Saturday: 5.03 miles/42:49; pushups 3 sets of 20; high bar hang x 3
Sunday: 5 miles/43:38 according to my Garmin; more likely 6 miles.

Let's talk about today's run, shall we? I set out to do 8 miles this morning. I was not motivated to run at all, even though the humidity was gone and the temperatures were in the 60s. I've had a couple of sleepless nights, worrying about my oldest son who is attending an EDM festival in the city this weekend.  Maybe my run would have gone better had I gotten this text earlier...

Good to know. So many gray hairs.
Anyways, even though I know he's fine, my mind was on him and not on my run this morning. There was a super creepy guy on the path who looked at me for just a little too long as I passed him by. Cue the crawling skin sensation. The smiling tree--if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know about the smiling tree--is gone from the path. That made me kind of sad. His smiling face was my turnaround point for a 6-mile run. They've been cutting trees down like crazy lately around here. This was when I noticed that my Garmin was way off--I know this route well and the mileage was incorrect. As I kept going, I started to feel really fatigued. I just couldn't get my head or my heart into this run. I finally called my husband to come and pick me up. The last time that happened was a year ago. Sometimes you just have to know when to fold 'em. Today was that day.

But somehow, I still managed 5 miles (according to my Garmin). So it wasn't a complete fail.

RIP Smiling Tree
(from the archives)
I did see this graffiti in the underpass this morning. Two thumbs up to whoever wrote this gem. Now you know where I stand. And that's all I'll say about this.

On Thursday, I discussed my plan to work up to 100 pushups with Becky, who told me my plan to do 100 pushups in a row was "just stupid". Ok, then! As she said, what is the point of risking injury with bad form when you get fatigued? She told me that she did Murph on Memorial Day--which is not what it sounds like! Murph is a CrossFit WOD and as part of that WOD, she did 200 pushups in sets of 5. Her telling me that she broke up her pushups into sets pretty much gave me permission to do the same with my 100 pushups. My new training mantra? WWBD.

On Saturday, I did 3 sets of 20 pushups. Can I do 5 sets? Stay tuned.

On my way to 60!

I've been listening to a lot of new music on the run. Have you heard Gwen Stefani's new song? It's another good one and reminds me why I like her music so much. But it makes me wonder--was she a cheerleader in a former life? There's a cheer-like rap in the middle of the song that makes me want to stop running and do cheer moves. Even though I wasn't a cheerleader and have no cheer moves. Take a listen and let me know what you think. This song also reminds me that Gwen Stefani makes some really well written pop songs.

I have got to enroll this puppy in some sort of training. Last week she decided that the house was a much more appealing place to potty than the backyard. My husband and I, independently of each other, both kind of lost it with her. She's done much better since our meltdowns but some trips out to the backyard take forever. There's just so much to sniff and roll in. And don't get me started on the nipping and the chewing. Although it was pretty funny when she ran circles around me while I did those Tabata Hollows to Supermans on the family room floor this week.

The pup and me. I love her. Even though she bites me all the time.
Last night my husband and I went out to dinner. The restaurant was quite crowded and loud. While he and I were talking we heard a very distinctive loud emission from the table next to us, followed by an exclamation: "Mom!" I looked over to check it out because that's how I roll, and I saw an elderly woman sitting there, looking all innocent like nothing happened. Maybe she didn't know. Maybe she hoped someone would blame it on one of the many little kids who were dining at the table. Maybe she hoped someone would blame Grandpa, who was just sitting there enjoying his birthday cake. Sorry, grandma, but you have to own this one! I mean, come on! I couldn't stop laughing because I'm immature like that. I'm pretty sure she wanted to let one quietly slip out because the she felt the pressure, you know because you've done that, but it kind of backfired.

So to speak. 

Pretty sure this will be me someday.
Running around my neighborhood these last couple of weeks has put me back in Mrs Kravitz mode. I'm on alert and I'm checking out everything. The house down the street where the hoarder lives has a big dumpster in front. I wanted to know why. Yesterday, I went to a neighborhood birthday party yesterday and found out that she had a stroke. Her family is cleaning out the house. They should probably just demolish it. A few years ago a tree fell on it, and that probably was a sign.

I also learned about the new couple who moved into the home that was in foreclosure for 2 years. And some juicy gossip about the people in the nicest house on the block. Who don't work. So juicy that I can't spill. It's funny, some the things you learn, isn't it? You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Unless you're Mrs Kravitz, that is. 

There's a woman who I often see walking. The interesting thing, at least to me, is that when she sees me running towards her, she breaks into a run. As soon as she passes me by, she starts walking again. I know this because I've caught her in the act. Why does she feel the need to run when she sees me? I'm not impressed. It makes me kind of sad for her.

The things I think about when I'm on the road...

How was your week? What have you been thinking about on your runs? Any juicy neighborhood gossip you want to share? And how many pushups are you up to?

I'm linking all these ramblings up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. How about you?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Got Compression? #SKINSornothing

Got compression?

Compression socks, tights, tops--all the cool kids are running in compression these days. I don't always run in compression but when I do, I prefer compression tights. When I'm running on tired legs or have a long run to do, more often than not, I'll pull out a pair to help my legs run faster and recover better. I really believe that compression has a place in every runner's wardrobe. 

I've tried a variety of brands of compression tights. Recently, I received a pair of SKINS DNAmic compression tights to trial and review on the blog. Did they stand up to the other tights I've worn in the past?

SKINS, an Australian company, was started when an Australian skier wanted to develop a product that would let him party all night but be able to recover and perform at his best all day. He theorized that by providing more oxygen to the muscles, he'd be able to work harder. He was right, and there has been a lot of research to support his theory. According to the SKINS website, where there are quite a few scientific studies listed, SKINS compression actually: improves venous return, reduces exercise induced muscle damage, accelerates recovery, removes lactic acid faster, increases strength and power, improves endurance, enhances muscle oxygenation, improves body temperature control, and reduces in-flight ankle edema. The DNAmic technology was developed to deliver specific levels of compression to active muscles. 

Pretty bold claims, right? Did these tights stand up to my cynical eye? Or legs?

Mother Nature cooperated with a bit of a cold spell this week so I could try out my tights. I took my tired legs out for a 5 mile run on a cool, blustery morning, wearing the SKINS DNAmic compression tights. At first, my legs felt "tight" as they always do when I run in compression. But when I looked down at my first mile split, I was pleased as I had an 8:25 minute mile. The rest of my mile splits were even faster. All good. 

I also did my pushups for Marcia's push up challenge and did some bar hangs and scapular pull-ups per Becky's homework.

Overall, I LOVED these tights. They were easy to pull on, which hasn't always been the case with other compression tights. They look great. They aren't at all restricting. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the pattern on the fabric, but as it turns out, they look great with a variety of colors of shirts. I don't know if they made me run faster, but my legs felt good while I was running. And best of all, my legs felt great after the run. I went to work, spent most of the day on my feet, and my legs weren't tired at all. Imagine if I could wear compression to work!

The only comment I would make is about the sizing. Even though I followed the sizing chart on SKINS website and ordered accordingly, I found the tights to be a little snug around my torso. The legs fit great but I would have liked a little more breathing space for my tummy. I've had this issue with other brands, so maybe it's just me. I would recommend sizing up one size. Still, I will wear these again and again. I really liked them. A lot.

One other comment: this isn't my first pair of SKINS compression. A few years ago, I bought a pair of SKINS compression shorts for running. My youngest son, who plays rugby, needed a pair of compression shorts to wear underneath his rugby shorts. I gave him the SKINS compression shorts and he just loves them. In fact, when I told him I was trialling a pair of the tights, his comment was, "SKINS are the best". He says they are really comfortable and he doesn't really notice them when he's playing, but he does think they help him run faster.

Running for a try in his SKINScompression!
Do you want to try SKINS DNAmic Compression? You can enter win an item from the SKINS DNAmic compression line! Sorry, but only US residents can enter. Only one prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won a SKINS prize from another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

And if you're not a winner or just can't live without the gear you chose, use the discount code SWEATPINK-SKINS20 on everything except sale items!

Do you wear compression gear? Have you ever used SKINS? What item would you choose if you won? 

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta of Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five!

Also with Nicole for her Fit and Fashionable Friday Link Up!

And with Smitha and Erica for Wednesday Giveaway RoundUp! #WinAllThePrizes

Disclosure: I was given a pair of SKINS DNAmic tights to trial and review on the blog from SKINS and SweatPink. All opinions are, of course, my own.