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Friday, August 22, 2014

FlipBelt Product Review

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received compensation for this post, though I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



As part of the Fit Approach, SweatPink Ambassador Program, I was given a FlipBelt to review for you. If you are a runner, then you might have heard about this product. Even if you aren't a runner, this product is simple, yet amazing! Everybody needs to have at least one! If I had my way, I'd have one in every color to match all my running gear! ;0)

http://www.flipbelt.com


What is a FlipBelt?  It's stretchy tube with openings in it to store your valuables or "stuff". You can use it when youre walking, running, biking, working outside.. the possibilities are endless. I have used this for shopping many times when I have been traveling. It hides well under your shirt, and no one would even know it's there. I can put my ID, some cash and a couple of credit cards, and it saves me from having to carry a purse when I am in the city. The last thing I want is to worry about looking like a tourist... that's just asking for trouble. 

There are colors for everyone, to match all your running outfits! I have this gorgeous neon green one, and I even bought a purple one also!  Of course, there is a lot to be said for basic black or grey, if that is more your style.  


Many people wear it on the outside of their clothes, as it gives easy access to your phone and or music accessories. I prefer to have it on the inside, and I use the "flip" to put the little openings against my body. My Iphone is for my work, so I can't take a chance on it getting lost or falling out, not that it probably would. I just am very anal about my stuff and keeping it where I need it to be!  There are actually three different ways to wear this product:



So that's the neat thing about this belt, it can be worn with the pocket openings out or in or up, and in or outside your clothes. You get the best of both worlds. It's make of a machine-washable high tech Spandex-Lycra blend and when you order, they will include a baggie for your phone if you wish. I do use the baggie as I tend to sweat a lot when I exercise. If you look at my last photo below, you will see that there is even a clip to hold your keys securely.



Here's the best part! Right now, until September 4, you can use my discount code sweat33 for 10% OFF your whole order! Don't wait.. the code will expire that day.. so stock up while you can. I can't say enough about this product. You need to try it yourself and you will be finding you use it for everything like I do!  

Tweet about this! Share it with your friends on Twitter!
Tweet: Run, play, explore with #FlipBelt! Use the code sweat33 for 10% OFF your entire purchase! http://ctt.ec/9fPaF+ @flipbelt @fitapproach


Here's a photo taken after my run this afternoon. LOVE LOVE LOVE my belt! If you like the neon green color, you can find it there.  FlipBelt




  • Multi-access pocket openings throughout belt
  • Turn items & pocket access up/down/inside as convenient
  • Flip to lock in items
  • Reflective logo - 3M Quality Reflective
  • Non-Bounce, Even Design
  • No buckles to cause uncomfortable chafing
  • Machine washable & Machine Dryable
  • Great for holding medication on the go.  Inhalers, insulin pumps, Epipens, etc...
  • EPA Certified, Odor Resistant, Pilling Resistant, Anti-Bacterial High Tech Poly Spandex Fabric
  • Available in colors, accent your workout wardrobe

If you prefer a video of the FlipBelt in action: 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Treatment for Achilles Heel pain

VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED!! 
This post contains a video of a medical procedure. If that kind of thing bothers you, you can read the post until the video, which is at the end. 


I have been training for my first marathon. It's no surprise that a lot of runners get aches and pains along with their training. I normally complain either about my right knee, or my right ankle, but with the increase in mileage, I developed some new pain in my Achilles tendon, in one of the spots where it attaches to the  calcaneous (heel bone). 

I went and had an xray done, and lo and behold, there are calcifications (calcium deposits) in the tendon area. Needless to say, that area gets really inflamed when I am running, especially long distances. This is the image of the xray. If you look where the arrow is, you will see the little pieces of calcium. Those little babies are what is causing the issue. 


I saw a friend of mine who is a Podiatrist,  Dr Dennis Claire DPM. He ordered the xrays and then we discussed the results. He mentioned a procedure called Prolotherapy. Of course I came home and sat right down at the MAC to do some googling. Basically the procedure entails injecting something into the tendon area, to hopefully get the body to start healing itself naturally. The body sees the liquid as something foreign that it wants to be rid of and the healing process starts. There are different solutions that can be injected, all the way from a simple saline solution, to stem cells. 

Since my pain is increasing with my mileage, and theres another month till the marathon, (Oct 5th) I opted for the procedure. There is no guarantee that it will even work, but it is worth a try. I made my appt and went in this afternoon. There is no prepping ahead of time, the dr just needs to be able to get at your heel. 

Dr Claire first sprayed the skin with a numbing spray that really did the job. Boy wouldnt it be nice to have some of that every time something hurt when running! ;)  Then he went with some lidocaine for numbing inside, and just plain saline.  Basically then, it involves poking holes in the tendon and around the tendon area while injecting the solution. 




Did it hurt? Honestly, just the first poke. After that I was hanging on to the chair for dear life, and didnt feel a thing. I kept waiting for it to REALLY hurt... but was totally surprised when he said he was done. I had my daughter come with me to drive, in case I wasn't feeling well afterwards. She took the video for me. :) 



VIDEO AND PICTURES BELOW: 
(don't look if you don't like needles!)

















video


I have an appt in 3 weeks to go for another treatment. 
I will post and let everyone know if these were successful. 


Friday, August 15, 2014

Product Review doTerra Essential Oils


Today’s review is about Essential Oils from doTerra.  I was sent a sample pack of oils to try out and give my opinion on.  I will say that I was skeptical at first, but figured I would give it a shot and try to have an open mind about it.

My sample pack included Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon and Wild Orange. According to their website, each of these oils has many purposes that you can use them for. 




From the doTerra website:


Essential oils are non-water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. Although they are fat soluble, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils. Essential oils are very clean, almost crisp, to the touch and are immediately absorbed by the skin. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are translucent and range in color from crystal clear to deep blue.


In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Modern scientific study and trends toward more holistic approaches to wellness are driving a revival and new discovery of essential oil health applications.

I had heard a lot about putting lemon in drinking water. I know many people do that at restaurants, and before being given some Lemon Oil, I didn’t really care for the taste of lemon flavored water. I decided that since I drink a huge jug of water every day at work, I would put some of the lemon in my water an give it a try. At first, I really liked it. I had to put 3-4 drops because of the amount of water in my water bottle. The taste was good, and it felt refreshing. After a couple of weeks though, I tired of the taste and found myself not using it any more.  



I am a runner, and struggle with my sports bra chafing my chest and back on my long runs. It basically rubs the skin raw and you can imagine how much that hurts when showering after my run. I found that if I wait until the next day so that it’s started to heal up a bit, and then put a mixture of the Lavender with some coconut oil on the wounds, they heal much faster! I put just a little bit of olive oil to dilute the Lavender a bit, as it is very strong. I use this all the time now for my long runs on the weekends. 

I have a small bump skin mole on my arm. It isn’t a colored one, just a growth of skin that is raised. I have had other ones removed via surgery but I got to thinking that maybe the citrus might help that. So… I started using the Wild Orange on the mole, and it is shrinking down. I just put a finger drop full strength on it, and rub it in and I have seen it dry up the top layers of skin. It gets flaky enough that I can scrub it off in the shower, and thus it has decreased in size a lot and is hardly noticeable now. I am totally in love with this! I have another one on my leg, which I will start working on too. Saves me from having surgery to get these removed. They are benign, but unsightly and I am self-conscious of them.



So all in all, I have to say I am very satisfied with my experience with doTerra Oils. I have already purchased some more through a friend of mine who sells them. I am glad to have someone nearby that can get me a bottle when needed.

If you do decide to try them, read directions carefully and dilute them when needed. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what something natural can do for you!  



Saturday, August 9, 2014

The effects of Marathon training on my body



Here it is week 10 of my marathon training.. that means my race is just 8 weeks away, which is fairly close on the horizon now. If anyone would have asked me a year ago if I would be training to run 26.2 miles, I would have wavered a bit in my answer. But after some careful thought, and lots of excellent training with Coach Caleb Masland, I knew it was within my reach. What I didn't expect, were all the ways my body would react to the training itself, both good and bad.

CoachCaleb.Com

Training basically encompasses a lot of different types of runs, some core workouts, and for me, cycling. Many people swim also, but I don't care for that one. Week by week Caleb sends me my workout which will have the three types I mentioned above, and these vary from week to week. Speed workouts, hill workouts, easy runs, and long runs... all are part of the plan. Upper body work, lower body, and core workouts are a big part of the overall picture. To be an effective runner, you need to have a strong core to be able to hold yourself erect after the long miles take their toll on the body. If you are slumped over and dragging, it makes it so much harder. I can feel that the core work that I have done, has helped tremendously in helping me run with better posture. The one thing I still fight with constantly is to keep my chin up when running. I tend to look at the ground and that is harder on my neck, and closes my airway down a bit and makes my breathing more labored. Any of you that have run with me will know that I am a very loud breather, and I am very self conscious about it. After a couple of miles, I  tend to get into my zone and then it comes a lot easier and I don't have to struggle any more. 



I have tried to vary where I run. It's so easy to just get into the same rut, week after week. I have 4 areas where I tend to go, and I try to make sure I take advantage of them all. The only one I haven't done yet this year, are the city trails. Since I run on the main roads, the traffic can be a real issue, especially when the nearby college is in session. So many times I have seen people talking on cell phones, texting or just not paying attention and they come a little too close to me on the road. I am always aware of their eyes, and hands. If I see someone who hasn't seen me.. I am ready at any moment to jump over a guardrail. I haven't had to yet, but have come close a couple of times. I always run facing traffic for that reason.




Ok, now to talk about the effects of this strenuous marathon training. It's no surprise that I am 52, and overweight. My weight varies between 210 and 220lbs. Depending on my training for the week, sometimes it's up and other-times it's down. Since I started running, my blood pressure has been very well controlled. I recently gave up my diuretic (water pill) because I found that it was making me too dehydrated. Dehydration in a runner can be very serious or deadly if not treated immediately. I sweat a lot, and lose a lot of salt. I have a special mixture that I put into my water for my runs, which has the salt and electrolytes I need to replenish. This fantastic tasting powder is called "TailWind". Coach Caleb recommended this to me, and I've never looked back. It comes in a couple of different flavors and there is even a caffeinated version!



Physically I have had some challenges a long the way. The first one has been that I had surgery on my right ankle in 2010. I had to have a piece of a tendon removed, and a graft put in its place. This has caused me to have a fair amount of pain and swelling every now and then, depending on the shoes and environment for that day. My old blog DreamingFullCircle is all about the journey from the injury through the surgery and recovery. 

I started having knee pain months ago, and found out that I have the start of arthritis and a degenerative meniscus tear in my right knee. Once I got that taken care of, it settled down and hasnt really bothered me since. I have to just be careful about shoe choices and the camber (slanting) of the road, which sometimes sets it off. When I had knee xrays done, we discovered an abnormal growth of bone in my Tibia (lower leg bone). More xrays done, and turns out that I probably had stress fractures from shin splints, that were never treated and the bone reacted by doubling it's outer layer. I was prone to shin splints a lot when I started my longer runs over 4 miles. Took a long time for the pain to go away.. and I guess I know now, why that was. So the moral on that one is, if you have shin splints that last more than a day or two, get it checked out by a doctor! My orthopedic doc will check my lower leg every 4 months or so for a while to make sure there isnt something else going on in there, and I am ok with that. 

The latest issue in the saga of bodily aches and pains is that I have developed calcifications in my Achilles tendon, on the same foot as my prior surgery. I tend to have very tight calf muscles, and the extra pulling on the achilles has caused the bone to react down in one area on my heel where the achilles attaches. Here is the xray done yesterday, that shows the build up of calcium. This is very painful to touch, and it hurts when running. I have been putting up with this for over a month now, and yesterday I finally found out what was causing the pain. Now the plan is to get lower leg massages once a week, use my foam roller to get the kinks out of my calves, and use heat to try and keep the blood flowing in that area. There isnt a lot of blood flow there, so the body can have a hard time to repair itself.. thus anything I can do to boost the recovery is good.



Ok.. so even though I have had these little issues, I am still doing fantastic, and my training is moving right along. Tomorrow I will do 18 miles with a friend.. this will be the first time that I have run a long distance with someone. I am used to doing it alone, and I hope that he will have the patience to put up with me not talking! ;) I have to focus and concentrate when I run, so chatting will not be easy. 

Will I ever do another marathon? That remains to be seen. If this race, the Maine Marathon, goes well, then I am thinking about doing the Sugarloaf Marathon in the spring. The hard part about that is training on a treadmill in the winter. The Maine roads are a mess the majority of the time around here, and there isnt a lot of room for runners and cars. I have to be very selective about when I go out during that time. The excitement of doing another race is definitely there, and I am sure I will want to do another one. I equate this to childbirth.. when youre going through it, the last thing you want to do is think about having another child! But afterwards, when you see that beautiful little baby in your arms, that disappears and you want another.  I'm sure that after I have that medal hung around my neck, I will want to feel that amazing accomplishment again! 




For those of you that have actually read all of this, and have run a marathon or Ultra's, please feel free to leave me some pointers below. I read everyone's messages that are left and will respond if you leave me a way to contact you. 

Happy Running!