Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12/21/2016 First day of winter, running with Justin Macaluso

Ironically, I went outside for a run on the first day of winter and it wasn't that bad.  I headed out for about 4.75 miles at a comfortable pace of 8:45/mile.  I ran today with Justin Macaluso, from Never End the Fight.  My former student, Justin created the team as I have talked about during our sit down last year (check it out here).

2016 Fair Lawn 1st Day 5K
Besides sharing a good run, we chatted about running, racing, the holidays, and our race last New Year's, the First Day 5k in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.  It was freezing, and also my wife was 9 months pregnant.  She was a trooper bringing the kids there in the bitter cold to watch me and the other members of Never End the Fight.  I'm hoping this year is a bit warmer.

Tanner Dec. 2016
It was also the day before Tanner was born.  I wonder if the cold induced what followed, she was in the hospital roughly 8-9 hours later, and gave birth the following day.  I have to say it again, Maura is a trooper.

I have talked about motivation a lot over recent weeks.  I am low on it, with the weather like it is.  However, running today with Justin helped.  Commiserating about weather, talking about races, kids, and just sharing the run made it bearable.  I run solo all the time, so it was a good change.

If you have a chance and want to know more about Justin's story and his thoughts, check out his page here, Never End the Fight, or go to the post I linked in the first paragraph.

Maybe we will see you for the First Day 5K in Fair Lawn.  Look for the team and come say hi, introduce yourself.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Product Review and Giveaway: Rechargeable Hair Trimmer and Sonic Toothbrush @ToiletTreeProd

Recently, I was sent a couple products from the good people at ToiletTreeProducts for review.  I was given the choice of products, so I decided on two rechargeable ones, a sonic toothbrush and my favorite, the hair trimmer.

The company sent them immediately, and I received it in 2 days.  That is a good start, fast shipping.  I followed the directions on both products and set them both up for a first time, full charge.  Each is designed to hold a nice, long charge, if setup properly.

The Sonic Toothbrush, as pictured, is nearly silent.  It has three operating modes.  Clean, soft, and massage all do a nice job on the teeth, but I prefer the massage mode.  It is my first sonic toothbrush and I like it a lot.  It does take getting used to.  You have to keep the head away from your other teeth as it rattles them a little if some part other than the bristles hit your mouth.  That being said, when you do it right, I honestly feel like they are nearly dental room clean.  I love the feeling of clean teeth, there is nothing better.

Another great quality of the toothbrush, it is nearly silent.  I admit, when I was about to turn it on the first tie, I was expecting a bit of sound, like an electric shaver sound.  I have no idea why, but I was pleasantly surprised when I did turn it on and I could barely hear it.  The toothbrush comes with multiple heads as well.  I have not worn one out yet, but I did attempt to change them because I wanted to see if it was difficult.  It isn't.  Simply slip the head off and slip the new one on.  Done.

The second product, the rechargeable Hair and Beard Trimmer is awesome.  As a guy that shaves his head, this is everything I want and more.  After charging, I used the clipper with no guard to shave my head and it was painless.  Most clippers like the barbershop ones, have a metal body that runs along your head.  This one, has a plastic one which does such a much smoother job and does not hurt at all.  It is a lightweight clipper that is shaped well and easy to hold.  The best part is that there is no cord to deal with when clipping.  I don't have to swing the cord over me or around me, it is so much less to deal with.  The trimmer clipped my hair close and took very little time.  It is dramatically quieter than the barbershop clippers I normally use.  I was expecting this after using the toothbrush beforehand, and was happy to be correct.

It does come with 4 guards to determine hair length, a comb, cleaner brush, and scissors as well.   I am not a beard guy, but the small size of the trimmer as well as the cut of the hair would make this a good choice.

Both of the products hold a good charge as I was able to use them and continue to use them without needing to dedicate a set aside time to charge.  That is the nature of both products.  I fully recommend both products and the company was a pleasure to deal with, from first ship to our conversations afterwards.

They have generously offered to allow 2 lucky readers in the U.S. to be picked as winners.  I will choose a winner for a sonic toothbrush and a winner for the hair and beard trimmer.  Winners will be chosen on January 8th.  I was not compensated for this review, I was simply given the product to test and provide my honest opinion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

12/20/2016 Tuesday run and nutritional laziness

Besides the 40 minute run today, the other topic on my mind is my nutrition.  To be honest, I have been a straight up train wreck for the last month and a half.  I am eating like crazy and it shows.  I need to trim this gut down.  Even beyond that, I just feel like crap now.  It's no secret that eating at least somewhat healthy dramatically improves how you feel physically and mentally.  Here are some of the simple things I am going to focus on starting now to turn around my nutritional momentum:

1.  Water, not soda.  Not that I have been drinking a lot of soda, but I haven't been drinking a lot of water, like ever.  I need to up it a bit.  Well, to be honest, one glass a day would be upping it, so I need to be somewhat more significant that that.

2.  Less crap carbs.  This is where all my weight gain has come from.  I have been housing the crap carbs.  Crumb cake, brownies, chips, pretzels, fries, everything, except the good ones.  I am dropping the crap carbs and the excess sugar along with it.

3.  More vegetables.  I like and eat a large variety of veggies when I am taking the time to involve them in meals and recipes.  The problem is, I sometimes just don't include them.  I need to get back on the spinach road, along with some of my favorites like brussel sprouts, broccoli, edamame, etc.

4.  Better proteins like eggs and beans, less of the traditional meat proteins.  Again, I enjoy different proteins, but I can be lazy about them.  I need to get the soups and hard boiled eggs going again.

5.  Smoothies need to be fired up again.  I have an awesome blender and a decent ability to make a tasty, healthy smoothie.  However, when I fall out of the rhythm, I don't utilize this power packed meal in a glass.  

I am not reinventing the wheel here.  The stuff above, are the basics that can help you achieve a base level of nutritional moderation.  Most of the issues I have, along with millions of other humans, have to do with simple laziness and poor planning.  When I am organized, I eat well.  Plain and simple.  Time to get organized and feel better.

Oh, by the way, the 40 minute run was fine, but inside again.  F

12/16/2016 Better late than never, Friday's run

Friday, I ran for about 45 minutes.  That put me at 3 runs for the week.  Nice, even though the weather blows and it will continue to, I will get my running in.  I might have to do some of the runs inside, but it's better than nothing. 

The main problem I have running inside, besides the boredom, is that I never feel stretched out.  It feels confining indoors and I can't stretch out the legs and move.  Running to me has always felt freeing, so this confinement is disappointing, but necessary sometimes.  It does make you appreciate getting back outside though.

I'm still stuck as to what racing I want to plan for 2017.  This lack of focus has me in limbo with my running.  I am still trying to figure it out.  Also, my 2017 goals are coming together nicely.  This post should be out soon.