Gear Review – SLS3 Compression Foot Sleeve

20160511_110723 (I was given a free pair of the SLS3 Compression/Plantar Fasciitis Foot Sleeves in exchange for my review. All opinions below are my own.)

After trying the SLS3 running belt, I was stoked to try another product by SLS3. I use my running belt all the time and I had bought a pair of SLS3 compression calf sleeves I run in regularly.

I got an email to be part of a blogger group to try the plantar fasciitis foot sleeves and thought, “Well, I do have plant fasciitis and I like SLS3 products, so yes, I’ll try those!”

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I’ve been battling the dreaded plantar fasciitis, a bad word to runners, off and on for a few years now. Although mine is un-diagnosed by a doctor, I’m 99% sure I have it and it sucks. I am lucky that it hasn’t gotten to the point of side lining me completely. When I first discovered the signature bottom of foot pain, I did my research, read every book I could, and came up with a routine. Every time I feel a little twinge, I use my methods and it’s gone.

With my running being off and on as it has been over the last 6+ months and me admitting not taking care of myself due to low energy and lack of time, I haven’t been able to shake this bout of plantar fasciitis as easily. The foot sleeves were calling my name!

What are they? They are compression sleeves that just cover from above your ankles to right before your toes. Claiming to help with the relief of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon pain and stress fractures by applying  compression, increasing circulation, reducing inflammation, and providing support for weak ankle muscles.

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While, I can’t prove if they reduce inflammation and increase circulation, I can say they did relieve some pain!

SPECIFICS:

  • Come in black or pink
  • Three different sizes to choose from (S, M or L based on shoe size)
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Interchangeable (each sleeve is not right or left foot specific)
  • Machine washable

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PROS:

  • Alleviated my foot pain relating to plantar fasciitis and achilles tendon issues for a brief time
  • They fit under socks
  • Cool, in temperature

CONS:

  • Stiff when you run in them
  • Thick. Yes, the fit under socks but I could still feel them
  • Too tight for LONG periods of time

 

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Originally, I was wearing them to treat plantar fascitiis, now I have some weird achilles pain and I have been using them for that. While great for a temporary relief post-run, I don’t like them while running.

Althought the website says, “Helps relieve joint and muscular pain even during sleep,” I once, accidentally, fell asleep in them.  I did order my size based on their sizing guidelines, but they must have been too tight because I woke up to shooting pains in my feet! I quickly took off the sleeves and the pain was gone, leaving me to believe that they were cutting off my circulation.

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Would I recommend them? Sure! If you have achilles pain or plantar fascia issues. However, they aren’t a cure for either issue, just a temporary pain relief. I personally will put them on while I foam roll (my calves because that’s sometimes the root of feet issues) and then keep them on as a barrier while ice.

I would also suggest them for if you need some ankle support while running. I don’t necessarily need a brace or ankle support, and running in them was stiff and uncomfortable for me, but if that’s a need for you, they would work well.

I’ll save mine for recovering on the couch!

Find them:

On Amazon for $18.90

SLS3

Reasons to Date a Runner

It’s that time of year again…yep, time for a fake holiday! Yep, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I pretty much hate the holiday. This picture sums up how I feel:

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Too graphic?

The reasons I hate the holiday are too many and would be a good post for my dating blog…that I don’t write.

Basically I think it’s a lousy excuse to be nice to your significant other when you should be doing it all year! This year I have grand plans to go to the biggest dive bar in Golden (just because) with a bunch of friends and play games. It sounds perfect to me! I have had boyfriends on the blasted holiday before, but I always tell them not to do anything and if they do I’m breaking up with them.

You think I’m joking! It has happened. But in all fairness, we didn’t belong together at all anyway.

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Besides my hatred for the hallmark holiday, I do love me a good holiday themed blog post! So, today I bring you: “Reasons to Date a Runner.” Stayed tuned, later in the week I will tell you HOW to date a runner…’cause let’s face it, we’re all crazy and there really should be a book….”Dating a Runner, For Dummies” (I just giggled out loud. And don’t you dare steal my idea!)

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The quick version

Reasons to Date a Runner:

1341615961630_29084771. We have amazing bodies! Well, everything from our ankles up. Don’t look at the feet. You have been warned.

2a. We have especially amazing legs. And butts. Hill repeats anyone?

2b. AND we wear short shorts. I am currently wearing short shorts.

3a. We have good hygiene and rarely smell bad. Just don’t come near me immediately after a run. However, due to all our running, we have lots of good smelling soaps and lotions and know the value of a good shower.

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This is actually me, 2011 Tough Mudder!

3b. But conversely, we’re not afraid to get dirty. I know I personally enjoy a good, muddy run!

3c. And are up for anything, anywhere, no matter the weather.

4. We like beer. Enough said.

5a. We also REALLY like food. LOTS of it! Hate when you take girls on dates and they just order a side salad? Don’t worry about that here! Can someone bring me pancakes? Yes, right now! Please?

5b. And we tend to always have food. At home the fridge is stocked, in the car, in the gym bag…all those miles makes me ravenous!

6. We know how to stay motivated, and motivate others. The running community is amazing and super supportive! That quality shows through in our relationships.

runnershigh7a. We are generally pretty happy, I mean, running does create and release some pretty amazing endorphins.

7b. We aren’t stressed that much. Except when we’re tapering.

8. We have a lot of endurance. I wont go into details.

9. We are dedicated and loyal….to running. But yes, that passion is reflected in our relationships. Only IF they are worth it.

10. We’re not clingy. Runner’s tend to be pretty independent. Actually, thinking on it, I haven’t met many non-independent runners. I found this well worded blog post:

Runners tend to be self-sufficient, ‘do it themselves’ type of people. There’s a certain personality type that comes with running long distances. They appreciate running with others, but know how to run alone (even, at times, preferring it.) Their strength enables them to push themselves to achieve the seemingly impossible, like running in the snow and pouring rain or going a longer distance than ever before. There’s a certain mental toughness that must be achieved. [They’re] also the opposite of clingy. [They] doesn’t need you in her life, and you’re damn lucky if she wants you there (my favorite line!). Just don’t try to interfere with [their] training schedule.

Cinderella11. We are not materialistic. Well, except for shoes, running shoes that is! I’d much rather spend my money on the latest Asics than on makeup. And I workout so much that I rarely spend time on my hair or dolling myself up! So don’t worry, you don’t have to dote on us!

12. We’re also very thrifty. $100 for that next marathon? Guess I’m not buying that latest thingy-majig that just hit the market!

13. This one is hard for me to explain, but runner’s tend to be competitive. And I mean that in a good way for dating because you can bring this girl (or guy) around for basketball games, football, ultimate frisbee, etc, etc to play and/or watch! I guess this applies more to girl runners because guys in general tend to be this way. When it comes to girl runners, they tend to enjoy a challenge and aren’t faint of heart to try something. Now….just be mindful when they’re aren’t GOOD at a sport…there IS a reason why we run.

14. Above all, and most importantly, runner’s are tough. We know how to push limits, mentally and physically.

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race2286-logo.bsHf-LFor those of you in the Colorado area: We (as in 3W Races) have a 5k on Valentines Day – The Heart Throb 5k!

When: February 14th, starts at 10am! You can sleep in!

Where: Memorial Park in Arvada, CO

Why: You get a long sleeve shirt that says, “I’m a heart throb,” it’s a fast, flat course, age group and overall awards, after party at delicious Fuzzy’s Tacos and Arvada Beer Co, and I’ll be there running…and so will my mom! Perfect way to spending valentines day: doing what I truly love, running! 🙂

How: More info HERE and registration HERE. Use code 2015WhitneyV15 for 15% off! Let them/us know Racing The States refered you!

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Related:

17 Things You Should Know Before You Date a Runner” by Thought Catalog

10 Reasons to Date A Long Distance Runner” by We Run For Cupcakes

101 Reasons to Date a Runner

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Your turn: Do you have any “reasons to date a runner” to add???

The Start of 2015 (And some resolutions)

Love Calvin and Hobbes!

Love Calvin and Hobbes!

Ooof! It’s been awhile since I posted! My new job is keeping me super busy and frankly, since I’m on the computer a lot for my job, I don’t want to be on it when I’m done working. I’ve been slowly, but surely, trying to finish this post…

I asked a lot of people as we switched into 2015 if they set new years resolutions, and the overall consensus was: NO.

I was actually surprised. 90% of people I asked didn’t set any, Including my clients at the gym. The best response I got was, “I don’t set them because I am already doing what I want!” That was from a lady whom is a regular in my friday 6am boot camp. I would have to agree with here. She has lost over 30 pounds in the last year and regularly comes to my 6am class (that’s EARLY!).

I, however, DO set new years resolution. They keep me motivated and on track. They give me things to look forward to and things to do. I don’t think I have ever completed 100% of my new years resolutions, however, I don’t get down about it. As long as I try my best, then I am happy.

PD_Half_LogoThis year is starting out GRRREEEART! (think Tony the tiger). Seriously though, I’m super happy. Some quick updates: I am now FULL TIME with 3W Races. The first event I helped work on was the Prairie Dog Half in Louisville, CO and I had the hardest job (as stated by my boss). I was volunteer coordinator for all the course marshals and water stations. Stressful? Yes, but in a different sense. When your job is something you love, stress is no longer the same. Anyway, my boss said I knocked it out of the park and gave me huge kudos in front of the team! 😀

Other than work, not too much new in the start of 2015. Snowboarding a lot, running A LOT (well, more than the end of 2014), and hanging out with friends a lot. I’m actually working on a new training regimen for myself and so far it’s working and I feel fantastic! I am reading 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald. It’s super interesting and I’m almost done with the book. Expect a review on it soon.

I know we’re almost a month into the year (already!?) but I still have some new years resolution written down and have currently been working on.

Running Resolutions: 

PR for the Half Marathon. That’s going to have to be faster than 1:48:55.

1st in my age group! 4th overall female.

Yes, that’s me on the “1.” It was super cold, so I was all bundled in my sweats. 1st in my age group! 4th overall female.

-I would love a PR in the 5K as well. I came close last weekend! My PR is currently 23:49 and I ran a 24:05! WOAH is right!

-I want to ramp up my running fitness, get back in to what I call “half marathon shape,” and starting thinking of BQing either at the very end of this year or early 2016!

-Last year I ran about 649 miles (I think; I wrote it down somewhere). This year, I want to run at least 1000 miles. That’s a little under 100 a month. I think this is doable!

-Once I have a good base built, I want to start adding in some speed workout to my regular running routine. Like I mentioned before, I have been reading 80/20 and there is some speed work built-in.

-I GOTTA get a new state in this year! I mean this is Racing the STATES after all!

Other Fitness Related Resolutions:

-I want to regularly strength train. 2x/wk. So far, so good, actually. The reason? Injury prevention, stronger so I can PR, and vanity. Seriously. I want look good/better.

Get back into climbing!!! I think I went climbing twice last year! That is not enough.

Career Resolutions:

Work hard with 3W Races. I already LOVE this job. It’s perfect for me and I want to see where it takes me. Currently doing a lot of marketing but I would love to maybe be Race Director for just one event!

Blogging Resolutions:

-Oh god, I really want to post more often. I will try. Ideally it would be at least once a week!

Random/Odds and Ends:

Knock off another 14er.

Visit TWO places in CO that I have not been. I may be a Native (ish) but I haven’t been everywhere!

 

There you have it folks! That’s what I am looking at for 2015!

 

 

 

 

Skirt Sport’s Skirt Chaser 5k – Post Race Recap!

SC5k_logo_landing_page-470x185Besides the Ragnar Road Relay, the Skirt Chaser 5K was the only other race I ran in August! (Which is good for me and my delayed blogging and my post-race recaps!)  The Skirt Chaser was put on by the Skirt Sports company and 3W Races was hired to run it (i.e. help with marketing, set up, timing, planning, etc). Since it wasn’t a 3w owned race, I still had to pay for it, but because Skirt Sports is a sponsor of the 3W ambassador program, we got a great discount. (Now that last sentence was a tongue twister!)

This was probably most fun I have ever had a race to date. I’m not joking! The whole idea, event and after party were a blast!

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Let me explain the idea first in case you have no idea what I’m talking about (to: my non-runner friends). So, a “skirt chaser” race is an event where the women get to start running first and the men get “released” shortly after. The idea is to catch the ladies, and yes it is supposed to be a fun “mixer.” Single men and women are encouraged to register but couples register for the idea of trying to catch each other. For example, my friend Sarah is a really faster runner dating a really fast guy as well. They compared their 5K PR’s to see if her boyfriend could indeed catch her after a three-minute difference in race start times. (Spoiler alert: He did catcher with about .75 miles left, I think!)

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The race in Colorado is part of the Skirt Sport’s series started by Nicole Deboom, the owner of Skirt Sports. I’ve met Nicole and she is the nicest person around. She has an excellent story and loves making people happy: thus the skirt chaser was born. Her series started in 2007. I honestly don’t know if she was the first one to come up with this idea (I doubt it) but I couldn’t google any more info on how the skirt chaser idea came about besides from her website.

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Taken straight for Nicole’s Skirt Chaser website, she wanted the race to include three things:

1. Fun: The staggered start format gave the spotlight to the ladies. 2. Flirty: The 3 minute delay created extra buzz and excitement. 3. Festive: The after-party topped it all off!

And the reason the women go first:

When I was racing pro, I competed in a few events that were billed as “Battles of the Sexes” in which the women pros started first and the men followed a certain window of time afterward. The first person across the line won an extra prize purse, as high as $250,000!

I always liked the idea of putting the women on a pedestal and gearing the event around women, but I still wanted to include the men in a way that was fun, flirty and festive. The staggered format was unprecedented in a mass running environment which gave us another reason to do something different. We created the first running skirt. Why not innovate a new style of racing too?!

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Now, I, personally, am all for the Skirt Chaser idea, however, there is few people out there that disagree with the whole thing…and I can’t figure out why. It’s clearly a race themed for a flirty/dating aspect. I read one blog post and the associated comments about people criticizing the whole race idea. (To be clear, I don’t think this person or the commenters even ran any of the races and they are not talking about any one in particular, just the idea of it. This author groups the “skirt chaser” and all other “fun runs” together including the color run, rave run and other ideas like that).

First off, I would NEVER group the Color run, the Neon Run, or any of those themed races with the Skirt Chaser. One main reason: The Skirt Chaser is timed and you can actually race it. In the other “fun runs,” there is no timing system and with the mass amounts of people attending, you can’t even run. It’s more like a jog or power walk because that’s all you can muster.

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The author of the article I found criticizes the skirt chaser and describes is as a 5K with the theme: “female runners eluding male pursuers.” I have no idea where this person got this idea, but there’s nothing creepy about the Skirt Chaser like they make it sound. She goes on to criticize the language, clearly not getting the whole point. I wonder if this author is even a runner…

Assuming this author is just highly feminist, she compares the idea of the skirt chaser to “women running for their lives.”

Oh dear. Really?? My favorite comment answers that: “Oookay…I always understood the term “skirt chaser” to mean a guy who is a big flirt, who is always, well, chasing women, not a rapist. Maybe a pickup artist at worst. But really, this seems like a play on words and not intended to imply that women are ‘running for their lives.’ Maybe more like ‘catch me if you can.’ I deplore rape culture, too, but this seems a bit on the side of being oversensitive.

Thank you, who ever you were.

My thumbs down to not feeling well.

My thumbs down to not feeling well.

If you continue on and read the comments, almost everyone that speaks up again compares it to the Color Run. They also start talking about the staggered starts for other races, saying that it’s usually the men that go first.

HELLO! You’re missing the point here!! In the Skirt Chaser, it’s fun and flirty and it’s meant to be a little game to see if they men can catch up to the women! The only reason men start first in other races is usually because it’s a high school cross-country race, and they want to clear the field so that timing and finishing is easier to keep track of.

Oooff!! Sorry, I got carried away there! After reading more of the (I’m assuming it’s a female)’s blog posts, it just turns out they are a hard to please person.

Let’s get back on track…

MY RACE:

I arrived after a long day working in the hot sun. The skirt Chaser was a mid-summer race set to start at 6pm. Seems pretty ridiculous for the summer, but, part of the whole event is to have the after party, and night-time is definitely best for an after party.

I tried to prepare myself for the 5K even though my body felt like it was going to collapse. I had woken up super early to volunteer at a Kid’s Tri then zipped over to volunteer at a festival in Denver to promote a concert that was coming up at the time. I was feeling drained.

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But, I turned my thumps up because I was almost done.

I changed into my running skirt (of course I had to run in a skirt), checked out the fellas to see who was wearing the “i’m single” stickers mingled with everyone, and then lined up with all the ladies. After a quick word from Nicole Deboom, we were off!

It was actually a really hard race for me! By the half way mark, I was not feeling well at all. Like, “upset stomach and headache”, not feeling well. I probably didn’t eat well the whole day; it’s always hard for me to eat right with an evening race. I got a horrible stomach ache and it was hard to keep my pace up. I was passed by a few ladies that don’t normally run faster than me. It was not a good feeling mentally either. I can be super competitive at times.

The good part though: I was only passed by half a dozen or so men! When I finally reached the finish line and joined one of my friends, she joked with me that I should have gone a little slower to give some of the men a chance to catch me!

Coming into the finish line!

Coming into the finish line!

THE AFTER PARTY:

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In case you can’t read it, it says,”Single….Taken??…DEPENDS WHO’S ASKING!”

I visited all of the vendors and sponsors, one of which had a friend of mine working it! Since I’ve been doing all these random jobs this past year, one of my good friends that I met at one of those random jobs was actually working at the Toyota Booth! So fun!!

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This was probably the best post race celebration you have ever been to! Everyone got TWO free beers, there was music, dancing, top three finishers overall (men or women were not separated – and no, they did not include the three min time difference for men! Muahahaha), twister, and lots of fun!

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Our twister team!

I don’t think I need to describe it too much more…I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Clearly I’m not on the same page as everyone else…

Although, I did feel like it was high school all over again, waiting to see if someone would ask me to dance! Eventually, I did get a dance partner and although he was super sweet and super cute, he was a little young for me. We still had a blast and our two groups went to eat after the whole event at a nearby restaurant.

Not the best picture, but the boy caught in action coming over to ask me to dance

Not the best picture, but the boy caught in action coming over to ask me to dance

The skirt-sport owner, Nicole, and the 3W Race directors showed up at the same restaurant and encouraged our after party, after the after party, clearly hinting at the fact that she same me with my dance partner.

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Isn’t he adorable!? Aww…super sweet Wyoming boy…sigh

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Additional Resources:

Skirt Chaser Website

The Article I was referring to in the beginning

 Your Turn: Have you ever done a Skirt Chaser???