Product Review: Aspaeris Pivot Shorts

When I wrote Monday’s post (on Sunday night) I was anxiously awaiting my run on Monday morning to test my hamstring.  I was hoping all the diligent RICE I did over the weekend would loosen things up and allow me to get some decent runs in this week.  I headed out the door (in shorts!) and…..I felt so. much. better.  To say I was happy and clicking my heels through those 4 miles is an understatement!  My hammie isn’t 100% but it’s getting there.  Phew!

During the blogger meet-up before the Philly Half, Kari gave everyone Aspaeris compression shorts to try out (thanks Kari!).  I’ve never tried compression shorts before…never really had the need for them.  I now regret those words!

Fast forward to after the Philly Half, I was sore and my hamstring was screaming.  I put the shorts on and wore them the rest of the day under my sweatpants.  They felt amazing; I love the support they gave my aching muscles.

I used the compression shorts as part of my RICE therapy all last week.  I even wore them to work yesterday (under my work clothes, of course.  Have you ever looked at yourself wearing Spanx?  That’s what these look like…it’s best to hide them under clothing unless you are built like a supermodel).  They were so comfortable, I forgot I had them on.

These shorts came at the absolute, most perfect time.  They definitely played a role in healing my hamstring.

My only minor complaint would be they are a little roomy in the waist.  I don’t think anything could be done about that because a smaller size would be too small.  They are tight where they should be tight and that’s what counts.

Do you wear compression shorts?  Do you wear them during a run or post-run ?  

I was given Aspaeris compression shorts at no cost; however, the opinions are my own.


If I don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist

The “it” in that title is my right hamstring.  It’s still pretty tight.  So tight that I only ran a whopping 6 miles last week (on Thursday).  I was pretty sore after the Philly Half so I didn’t run Monday to Wednesday.  When I ran on Thursday my hamstring wasn’t painful, just really tight.  I felt it with each stride.  I was hoping that it would eventually loosen up but no such luck.

Even though it killed me, I took Friday to Sunday off from running.  RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) was the name of the game those days, along with lots of foam rolling (FRICE?).

I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t worried.  I’m not in freak out mode yet because I’m not in pain.  But, something is making my right hammie feel like a rubber band pulled too tight (overstriding is my guess, despite my attempts to correct it).  This has been happening off and on since the Philly RnR Half in September.  Thankfully, I’m seeing someone different this week for ART (finally bit the bullet and scheduled an appointment with a PT; I didn’t feel like the chiropractor was helping me).  I’m hoping we can devise a plan to nip this in the bud.  Boston training starts 5 weeks from today and I need to get my base back to where it was 3 weeks ago.

Funny thing is I took a yoga class yesterday and was fine.  From my description you would think I could barely touch my toes.  Just the opposite was true.

Not exactly like that, but close


Enough with the Debbie Downer stuff…I didn’t sulk the entire weekend!  I was quite productive:  a little (online) shopping, decorated the house for Christmas, figured out my training plan for Boston, etc.  I have a lot more time on my hands when I’m not running.

It's fake and's that for lazy?

Ever have hamstring troubles?

Do you get a real or fake tree?  I find that people have strong feelings on this, which I think is funny.  I grew up in a fake tree house, so I guess that’s what I’m used too.  A real tree would drive me crazy with all the needles falling everywhere!

Garmin Obsessed

From the looks of my Philly HM photos, you would think that I (1) was overjoyed at my time and (2) had the race of my life.  Both are false.  Maybe I was just so happy it was over?  I don’t know…but I have a big goofy grin on my face.

I swear I raised my arms in triumphant joy as I crossed the finish line and they didn’t capture any of that.  Instead my eyes are locked on my Garmin.

Pre-finish line:  hating life

Now comes the goofy grin…



Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Did you go shopping today?  I avoid the mall today, I hate the crowds!  Matt and I were pretty productive and put up our Christmas decorations and tree.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This morning I did my own version of a Turkey Trot – 6 miles with a super tight hamstring.  So yes, I definitely was trotting.  I left my Garmin at home and instead just enjoyed being outside on a beautiful morning.  I thought about what I’m thankful for, big and small, and noticed 2 distinct groupings:  people and running.  Here goes…

My family:  they are wonderful and healthy.  I won’t get to spend today with them but I will see my parents next weekend.

My in-laws:  Matt is the youngest of seven so there’s lots of them!  I have never met such nice, genuine, and welcoming people.

Matt:  see above about in-laws; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

My friends:  I’ve been friends with some for 25+ years (eek!); others surprise you at Mile 25 of a marathon.

Hawk:  every day he makes us laugh.

Qualifying for Boston:  9/11/11 was the second best day of my life.

Running:  it has changed my life and I cannot imagine my life without it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Philly Half Race Recap

Race day started with a super early 4:50AM wake-up call.  I took my time getting ready, ate my standard PB sandwich, and we were on our way.  Thankfully Matt dropped me off right at the start so I didn’t have to worry about parking.

Rocky was all decked out.

On the way to the race I told Matt that I wished I was running the full marathon for fun instead (I had originally signed up for the full but then dropped to the half).  Then I saw this and quickly changed my mind (at the halfway point the marathoners branch off and head out to Manayunk along Kelly Drive.  When I ran the full in 2008 I remember hearing the crowd cheer for the HMers and I was so jealous that they were already done.)

I hate writing long, wordy recaps, especially for a HM, so I’ll keep it (sorta) short and bullet point my thoughts.

M1 – 7:54
M2 – 7:50
M3 – 7:51
M4 – 7:46
M5 – 7:56
M6 – 7:59

  • I was feeling really good and was running exactly how I wanted to.
  • Each year I forget how much I LOVE this race.  The crowd support and course are just amazing!!!!
  • I saw some funny signs comparing the length of the marathon to Kim Kardashian’s marriage (with the marathon obviously being the longer of the two).
  • My favorite sign, because I’m such a sap about Boston, was:  Go Sue!  Give us a good excuse to plan a girls’ trip to Boston!  Awwww….
  • I’m a HUGE fan of having your name on your bib.  People kept yelling “Go Kristy” all the way down Chestnut Street.  Amazing.
  • At one point I hear “Kristttttyyyyy” and turn around to see the lovely Alli cheering for me.  Thank you Alli, that meant so much!

M7 – 7:48
M8 – 8:26
M9 – 8:21
M10 – 8:45

  • I have no idea why Mile 7 was so fast.  It’s a nice hill (not steep but a gradual climb) and then you run down a hill right near the Drexel frat houses (where I may or may not have spent time freshman and sophomore year of college).
  • I started to unravel a bit from Mile 8 to 10.  This killed me timewise.  Right after Mile 9 there is a long, winding hill.  I hate that hill.  I curse it every year.

M11 –  8:04
M12 – 8:06
M13 – 8:11

  • After Mile 10 I got a surge of energy and picked up the pace.  A nice downhill also helped.

Official results:

Like I said Sunday, I’m disappointed with how much speed I lost post-marathon but I needed to recover and take a break.   And, as my friend Amanda wisely pointed out, a PR is a PR!!!!

I got to “meet” Celia post-race (I technically met her during Mile 7 but we didn’t chat much)!  We stood right near the marathon finish line and watched all the sub-3:00 runners finish.  Then we got yelled at to move back.

It was a great weekend!  The next race I have is Boston (OK, right now that’s the only race I am technically signed up for).  As soon as I figure out my training plan, I’m going to fill it in with some tune-up races 🙂

A Perfect Weekend

The Philly HM was only part of my fun weekend.  On Friday night, I hit up the expo in order to avoid the mad rush on Saturday.  I also met Matt for happy hour and restrained myself by only having 2 1/2 beers.  I made up for that yesterday.

Amanda and I happened to be at the expo at the same time, so we chatted for a bit.  Amanda kicked ass yesterday in the half!

I know I complain a lot about shirt sizing but this is ridiculous.  Normally, the Philly Marathon has great long-sleeve tech shirts.  Witty sayings and the fit is perfect.  I always look forward to adding another Philly Marathon shirt to my rotation.  Not this year.  The grey shirt is last year’s shirt (size small, Endurafit) and the black is this year’s shirt (also size small, also Endurafit).  Not cool Philly, not cool.

On Saturday, I headed back to the expo for a blogger meet-up.  It’s so great to finally meet some of these ladies in-person!  From left to right:  me, Abby, Amanda, Gina, Kari, Katie, Megan, and Gene.

As I was leaving I spotted Bart Yasso at the Runner’s World table and no one was talking to him so I ran over for a quick picture.  I love Bart!  And I was bummed that I didn’t have my copy of My Life on the Run for him to sign 😦

That’s it folks!  Race recap will be up tomorrow.

I need to give a huge shout out to Alyssa and Kara for running 50 miles on Saturday (or, in Alyssa’s case, 50+ miles).  You ladies are so inspiring and I hope to follow in your footsteps soon!

Philly Half Marathon!

Another Philly HM in the books…

Did I run a sub-1:45 like I wanted?  No.

Am I disappointed?  A little.  I know I can run faster!

Am I already looking for a Spring HM to finagle into my Boston training?  Absolutely!

Garmin stats:
13.35 miles
8:03 avg pace
*A 1-minute PR from the Philly RnR in September!

Lots more to come.  I met some wonderful bloggers this weekend and spent about 90% of the weekend talking and thinking about running.  Absolute heaven.  But for now, I have some Miller Lite to drink 🙂

I leave you with this….

Another flattering set of race photos…

Actually, these aren’t too bad.  Apparently hating life translates well on camera for me.

At the start with Ann, Trish, and Sara.

This photo made me laugh.  Cookie Monster getting his stretch on and an oblivious runner.  Philly skyline in the background – so pretty!

Can you spot me (hint:  I’m checking my Garmin for the 10th time)?  I lined up towards the front and then 99% of the runners passed me within seconds.

Barely managing a smile somewhere around Mile 3.

This photo is pretty horrendous.  But at least I’m not looking at my Garmin.

I’m sure the Philly HM photos will be just as fabulous!

Plan of Attack

After Saturday’s crappy showing at the WHYY 12K, I slightly reevaluated my plan of attack for the Philly Half Marathon on Sunday.  Many of you said to not give up on my goals and I’m not…I’m just rethinking my approach and being a tad more realistic.  Before I get into that though, here are the official results from the 12K:

59:31 (7:59 avg pace)
overall – 73/331
gender – 24/178
division – 9/62

Not too shabby for a crappy race!  Painful, hating life race photos to come!

OK, my plan of attack…

THIS WEEK:  easy runs!  Speed work will not help at this point so I’m just resting my legs, especially after the 12K.  I plan to take 2 complete rest days on Friday and Saturday.  I’ve done this in the past for a HM and call it my “mini taper”.  It has worked well.

1.  Do not give up!  I will NOT be checking out like I did during the 12K.  The Philly HM is my favorite half; I think it’s way better than the Philly RnR Half.  The crowd participation is insane for the HM (sorry marathoners, Manayunk is super fun but the run out to Manayunk and back from Manayunk is pretty lonely).

2.  I would be happy with a 1:44:xx finish.  As long as it’s sub-1:45.  Nice, even 8:00 min/miles would get me a 1:45.  I’m going to maintain 8:00 pace and hopefully towards the end drop a bit to get that sub-1:45.

3.  I’ll probably wear a pace band.  I’ve never wore one for a HM but feel it may be necessary for Sunday.

4.  Expect it to hurt but enjoy yourself.  Remember, I do this for fun 🙂

There are so many bloggers running Philly this weekend, I would love to meet some of you in-person!  Anyone up for a mini meet-up pre-race?  The race starts at 7am (ouch) but maybe meet at 6:30?  Or Saturday?  Let me know.  Other meet-up ideas are welcome!

WHYY 12K Recap

Well, today wasn’t my day and that’s OK.  Really, it is.  I tend to beat myself up over races but this was only a 12K and I’m going to cut myself some slack.

FACT #1:  I mentally checked out at the turnaround.
This was an out-and-back course (out-and-back on West River Drive is never fun).  My pace was feeling hard and, as I predicted, I was hating life.  I went around the turning point and just let my pace slip.  I was done.

FACT #2:  I lost a bit of speed since my last marathon.
The LVM was 2 months ago and I’m currently toeing the line between maintenance running and maintaining my speed.  I have been training non-stop for the past 2 years and this is the most lag time I’ve had between marathons (Boston training doesn’t start until around Christmas).  I need to allow myself some down time….some time away from weekly speed work.  So it’s only natural that I lost some quickness.

FACT #3:  I really need to get my iPod fixed.  I generally run without music but there are some races where music is a necessity (like today).  My iPod has been broke since the NJ Marathon last May!

FACT #4:  I can’t wait to run an ultra!  I just need to hang in there with the speed work for another couple of months until after Boston.

FACT #5:  I need to reevaluate my goals for the Philly Half next weekend…or maybe I’ll have a better day next Sunday!

Here are the Garmin stats.  A 12K is 7.45 miles so I didn’t do too bad running the tangents.  Clearly, if I held back more in the beginning I probably would have done better.  Mile 6 makes me laugh….yeah, that’s marathon pace!


The best part of today’s race?  Hanging out with Sara, Trish, and Ann and having a delicious brunch of french toast with Trish afterwards.

Tomorrow is most certainly a rest day too 🙂

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