Swoob and SWEAT!

Do you ever come across a product and think to yourself “DARN they beat me to it?!”? Like you had a really great idea for an invention and then come to find out it’s already been created! Well that is exactly what happened to me when Swoob reached out about trying one of their sports bras out!

Swoob is a company dedicated to empowering women and providing them with functional, fashionable fitness gear that not only works well but feels good on your body! They specialize in making sports bras that allow you to bring everything you need for your workout right along with you!

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For years I’ve been putting my phone in my sports bra to hold it in place while I go on runs so I can listen to music and podcasts. This works well up to a certain point, but as soon as I start sweating the phone starts to shift, bounce around , and basically fall out of my shirt. Not something you want to be worried about when you’re trying to mentally get into a run!

But Swoob totally remedies that problem with their awesome sports bras that have BUILT IN pockets specially sized for your phone or iPod! Pretty cool right?

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swoob1The pocket perfectly fit my iPhone (it was just big enough to stretch around it and just small enough to remain tight and snug so the phone didn’t move around). Another thing I really like about the bra was how thick the fabric was! Definitely high quality material and the band around my chest so durable and sturdy! It provided extra support to manage the added weight of my phone!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bra is also really soft and comfortable! No weird rubbing or itching whatsoever! I really appreciated this because certain fabrics really irritate my skin, especially when I start sweating in them. Plus, I LOVE THE COLOR!

As one final test of my new Swoob bra, I knew I wanted to try a really high energy workout to see if the phone would stay in place throughout! So I designed this cardio and strength circuit to test it out! Lots of jumping and movement to really experiment with the bra’s holding capabilities!

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The result? The bra worked great! My phone stayed in place which allowed me to listen to a podcast during the whole workout. So definitely giving Swoob two thumbs up for use during running and strength/cardio workouts!

Big thanks to Swoob for sending me one of their products to review! I guess I’ll forgive you for stealing my idea ;)

Let me know if you try the circuit workout out! It’s a good one!

[Edited to add: IF YOU WANT 10% off a purchase of your own Swoob bra...use the code KAILA at checkout!!!]

And now I’ll leave you with some miscellaneous pictures from the past week….

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Have a happy weekend, friends!

Do you listen to anything when you workout?

Where do you usually put your phone/iPod?

Do you own any exercise gear with hidden pockets in it?

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Checked out the baseball fields for my dad to see if they were useable for his practice tomorrow!

Never too early to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for next week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!

Olean YMCA Polar Bear Series Half Marathon [1:33:53]

Well friends…I DID IT!

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My first official half marathon is in the books and I couldn’t be happier with how it went! Seeing as I did no formal training, the race was in the afternoon, the weather SUCKED (windy, cold, and snow flurries), and I was pretty darn nervous…I definitely exceeded my (low) expectations!

Big thank you goes out to everyone who wished me good luck and who has supported me in the weeks leading up to the race! Your advice and encouragement really got me through!

So how did it turn out?

My official time was 1:33:53! I was expecting closer to 1:40 so this was a great surprise! I came in first for my age group, 4th overall for women, and 15th overall in the whole race!

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My garmin showed the course as being 13.02 miles, but I think that’s because my timer started a little late. I asked some other runners whether the course came out as short for them as well and they actually measured it as being a little long. So I think it was more of user error on my part than the course itself! How disappointing would it be to run just short of a half!?

So how did the whole experience go?

I kept it very low key on Saturday night and just stayed home with a movie (Frozen…which I LOVED!). I also laid out my clothes for the race and got a few things ready. I had a hard time falling a asleep and ended up staying up way later than I usually do. I think it was  nerves and excitement.

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In the morning I woke up around 8 (much later than usual…but since the race was an afternoon race, I figured I could sleep in!). Got my stuff together (packed a lunch and snacks!) and ate breakfast. I went with a normal breakfast for me: pumpkin oats and a power bowl on the side.

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Then I got dressed and just sort of took it easy until 10:30 when my parents and I headed out. The drive was about an hour and half and we hit a few serious white outs on the way down….I was afraid my dad was going to say forget it and turn around. But we made it!

I ate lunch in the car around 11:15. Didn’t do anything fancy or special,  just cut down a bit on the portions I usually eat to make sure I could fully digest by one! I packed a cabbage and turkey salad with a black rice tortilla stuffed with cheese and jam! Lots of water too.

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We got to the YMCA at around 12 and ended up having to just wait around for the next hour after I picked up my packet and went to the bathroom numerous times. All the waiting around definitely didn’t help my nerves and I was getting pretty panicky as we neared 1pm.

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Around 5 to 1 it was time to line up. When we finally headed outside, I realized just how SMALL of a race this was! I didn’t realize there were only a little over 100 runners doing the half! That made me even more nervous as I did not want to be the last one out there on the course! But I did some deep breathing and before I knew it the gun went off and we were on our way.

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Mile 1-3

Started near the front but went out pretty slow. I did not want to push it as my only goal for the whole race was to finish. I settled into a comfortable place and tried not to look to far into the future about the 13 miles that were ahead of me. I focused on my music and tried to take in my surroundings as I’d never been in this area before. In all honesty, there wasn’t much to look at. Started to warm up during these miles too and the only part that was really feeling the cold was my face. Darn wind was pretty harsh too and it was blowing against us. I found a running buddy near mile 2 and figured I’d end up being with him the whole race as our paces seemed pretty similar.

Mile 3-turn around point

The group started to spread out more and the distance between little pockets of people began to lengthen. I was still with my running buddy till around  mile 4 and I thought we were pushing each other pretty well. Then all of a sudden I pulled ahead a little bit and didn’t end up seeing him again! It was so weird because I was afraid he’d overtake me, but I went with it and kept pushing on. Miles 4-6 seemed like they took a while and I was starting to doubt my mental strength to make it through the run. But my legs and body felt good and I just tried to keep my mind focused. When I started seeing runners who had already reached the turn around point on their way back, I got a burst of energy and excitement at the thought of being half way done!

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Once I got to the half way point I felt great! I had passed a TON of people and no one had gotten ahead of me yet! I was making up a lot of distance between people I had seen turn around way before me and I definitely was building confidence. Plus it was nice to have a bit of tailwind on the way back! Every mile felt more effortless and my legs felt really strong. I kept eyeing people off in the distance and playing a little game with myself to see if I could pass them! Around mile 8 I saw some pretty crazy sites! A real, live skunk that I was afraid was going to spray me and a man running the half in a full WW2 style gas mask and about 50 pounds of metal chains draped around his neck….so strange! He also had shorts and a t-shirt on….so it was total craziness on a few different levels!

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At this point I knew I was close to being done and I started recognizing some of the sites I had seen on the way out so I could sort of gage how far I had to go. I didn’t want to look at my garmin too much as I don’t like thinking about numbers and times while I’m running, but I did look down around 10.75 miles and saw that I was at about 1:20. So I figured I’d end up coming in around 1:40. But something must have kicked my butt into high gear because I ended up getting a major kick for the last 2 and a 1/2 miles or so and just really sped up! I felt like I was sprinting the rest of the way in, but I didn’t feel tired or fatigued. I turned down the main street that I started on and saw my dad with his big camera waiting towards the finish! When I turned the corner and saw the stop clock, I was shocked to see numbers in the 1:30′s up on the screen! I was ecstatic and ready to finish strong!

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Thoughts on the race as a whole:

-The second half of the race went by SO FAST. Looking back, I think I could have pushed even more and finished even faster! I didn’t feel completely exhausted at the end, so that tells me I still had some fuel left in the tank!

-Out and back route wasn’t as bad as I thought! I usually don’t like running the same route twice in one run, but having an idea that I was over half way done at the turn around point was actually pretty motivating. Overall the course was mostly rolling hills with some flat areas. But the way back definitely felt easier since we had a bit of a tailwind towards the end!

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-I am so excited about my negative splits! I’ve never gotten faster EACH mile of a run/race so I feel pretty great about that! But in all honesty, I could feel it during the run. I kept getting more and more bursts of energy as the race went on!

-Afternoon races sort of stink! I’ve always felt I do my best running in the morning, so just thinking about running so far in the afternoon felt a little daunting. Waiting around all morning, then the long car ride, and then the hour before the race made me really anxious! I just had WAAAY too much time to think about the race and get all caught up in my head! Morning races for next time, please!

-Running in the city is so much more fun than running in the country. It was definitely nice running in a place that was new to me. But there really wasn’t much scenery. Just some farms, some broken down houses, and a lot of brown. City running with all the different neighborhoods, businesses, PEOPLE, and traffic makes it so much more interesting!

-My playlist was a life saver! I had it on shuffle, but I swear the perfect songs came on right at the moment I needed them! Thank you iPhone gods!

-I definitely want to run a race with more people next time! I ended up running half the race almost completely alone…just barely being able to make out a few people in front of me at certain points. It made it hard to be sure I was going the right way some of the time. I think I would like the feel of a BIG race with tons of spectators and people running around you the whole time! Talk about a motivating environment!

-I wonder what I could do if I took training more seriously and actually followed a plan! I did not expect to do half as well as I did considering I did no formal training and didn’t really do anything special to prepare for this race. So I sort of wonder…if I commit myself to a real plan, add in some speed work, and really work on improving my running, could I really drop some time and be a competitive runner?

-I am debating whether I should experiment with fueling and hydrating…I didn’t take water at any of the stations because the thought of drinking something cold in such cold weather sounded awful! I have never fueled during a run before and honestly the thought of eating while running makes me sick. But I know it’s key for running longer distances so I feel like I should maybe start trying it. Any suggestions on how to get started with this? Do any of you out there not fuel during long runs?

Overall, it was an amazing day! A great way to spend my last day of Spring Break (<—oh how sad that makes me to write out!). Big thanks to my parents for shuttling me there and supporting me! It was nice to have some familiar faces at the finish!

I don’t know when my next race will be, but I can tell you it will be in NICE weather! I am so over cold weather running. Of course, the temps won’t stop me from getting out there…but I am just dying to get some REAL SPRING WEATHER runs in! It’s March for crying out loud!

Thanks again for all your support, friends! All your comments, tweets, and emails really made me feel great and made this experience exceedingly better! :) Love you all!

Do you remember your first race?

What are your thoughts on out and back routes?

Have you ever set low expectations for something and ended up really surprised at your performance?

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Helped my mom download some apps to her phone!

Never too early to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for this week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!