Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Product Reviews

Disclaimer: none of this stuff was given to me by any company. I bought everything with my own cognizance.
Compression Socks:
After reading tons of articles and reviews on compression socks, I figured it was time to get myself a pair. There are sooooo many different brands out there. I had no idea. I ended up buying, Recovery Socks.
I'm not going to go into the details of what compression socks do and how they aid in recovery, their is plenty of information on that already. I will tell you that I did NOT feel sore the day after my long 3 hour + runs. I wear these socks after all my speed workouts, tempo runs, and long runs. They are not comfortable to wear to bed and they began to itch my legs and feel uncomfortably tight at the elastic band on top around my knee after a couple of hours. Since I was basically wearing them at least every other day, I thought it was best to get another pair so I could actually wash them regularly without having to strategize my laundry routine too much. My local running store started carrying them so I bought a second pair of a different brand. They are the same brand as those awesome compression shorts I just bought: 2xu. At $55 a pop they were more expensive than the recovery socks, but let me tell you - they are worth every penny!! So much more comfortable. I hate wearing the regular recovery socks now and they quickly became my 'back up' pair.
They are even labeled L (left) and R (right). Never mind that I had mine on the wrong feet. I've never been able to tell my right from my left and it's one of my quirks. You should see me take directions from somebody in the car while driving. They literally have to point which way to go directly in front of my face or else I will inevitably go the wrong way. It's weird, I know.
The best feature is the bottom. The gray area is an added level of comfort and I would actually consider wearing these on a speedwork run. WORTH EVERY PENNY!! Asics Armwarmers: The same night I bought the killer compression socks, I bought the Asics armwarmers. At only $8, in this case - you get what you pay for. I wore them for a warm up of only ~3 miles and holy chaffage. I actually had to cut my speedwork short because I was in so much pain I kept adjusting my gait and the last thing I need is an arm warmer to cause injury. To be fair, I am prone to chaffage in the inner arm area. I think it's because I have massive guns and a fair amount of fat over said guns. OK, joking about the guns, but not about the fat. I might try them again once the wx cools off with some of my new sweet sport shield (review below). No chance I'm wearing these at the beginning of the marathon which is what I was intending to do.
Sport Shield:
Before one of my long runs a while back I mentioned to a fellow runner that I had a major blister problem and I was getting sick of body glide. She is a major hiker, as in when I met her - her husband and son were gone for months hiking the Continental Divide. That's some serious shit. She brought me a new product to try: Sport Shield.
This stuff rocks! I like it better than body glide. It's much easier to put on since it a rolls on, plus it's a little more fluid than body glide. Easier to handle and not as messy.
Upon perusing the website I came across another one of their products, Blister Shield. It's a powder that turns into a wax like consistency once it gets damp (like with feet sweat). Since I am always looking for the next best thing to keep my blisters down to a minimum I bought some. LOVE IT!!
S0 you put about a tsp of the powder in your sock and then put the sock on. Genius!
By-by Body Glide:
Lastly, I wanted to share a great new cookbook I recently discovered: Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Every time I go to the bookstore I eye ball it, flip through it, then put it back. I finally just bought it. I don't know why I him and haw at small purchases like that, but then don't think twice about buying a pair of $55 dollar socks. What's that all about?! Anyways, this cookbook seems to speak my culinary language.
I love to eat. LOVE to eat. Here is a quick summary of my food philosophy:
  • No (or very minimal ) processed foods
  • High quality cuts of meats and cheeses
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Less is more when it comes to ingredients
I haven't made anything from it yet since I just got it, but I have started flipping through it and so far I have a ton of recipes I want to try. There is also a ton of information on stocking up the pantry, tyring new types of whole grains and flours (think millet, and amaranth), as well as concepts such as cooking with color (which I totally dig). Plus, the author also has a website which I totally love, and have cooked many o` recipes from. I never knew she authored the cookbook I've been eyeing for the last couple of months. Clearly, this is fate.
The first recipe I will try: Seed-Crusted Amaranth Biscuits
One last thing - the cookbook is a vegetarian cookbook and now that I'm looking - I think her website is also vegetarian.
So there you have it. I hope this post was at least a little organized since I wrote it over the last few days, and it gave you guys enough information if you were in the market for any of the above products. happy trails.


Alisa said...

Awesome reviews. I've never really understood the compression sock thing, other than them being cozy. I found that ice baths/buckets really are what work for me to get rid of soreness the next day.

I'm all about blister protection I may have to investigate your two products =).

Jamie said...

thanks for the reviews! that sport shield/blister shield seems very interesting!

Niki said...

Great reviews! I have been considering buying some compression socks and armwarmers so this was very helpful!!

Running and living said...

Wow, you've been on a shopping kick, ha? Me too! I've ordered compression tights, and the same Asics arm warmers that you got (perhaps a mistake here?) I have the Recovery Socks and love them. For some reason, I can pull them up over my knees and they seem v comfy to me (of course, I have not tried other types of compression socks for comparison). Good luck with the cooking - certainly not my strong suit!

Tara said...

I love my compression socks; I couldn't live without those and my ice baths. I have been wanting some armwarmers for the cool weather; thanks for the reviews, I will have to check those out.
I will also have to check out that cookbook and her website! I have been finding so many great vegetarian recipes lately. It is making the transition easy!
You asked me about drills that I work on. My coach manly has be working on pawbacks, fastfeet for quick turnover, jumps, butt kicks, and knee lifts. These are supposed to help me with my form.

Katie said...

Wow! This is a great post! I have learned so much form you today :)
I LOVE reading posts like this! Thanks so much :)

Kelly said...

Oh, that cook book looks really good. I am the same way with "less is more" when it comes to ingredients. I automatically write off recipes with a million ingredients. I don't want to buy a million things I'll never use again, plus it just takes too long to make!

Meg Runs said...

I LOVE my recovery socks too. I can't believe the running world isn't aware of them as much as the tri world! I would wear those socks every day if they looked cute with flats and skirts, which they DON'T! Thanks for the kind words you left on my blog, you are so sweet and such an encouragement to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Love this post! I have OxySocks and they are amazing. I also love Heidi Swanson but just use her website for now.

Amy said...

How did I miss this post last week?! Love all the reviews and pictures. So fun.

Ok, now to try to help you learn your L from your R. hold your hands out in front of you and make L's with your pointer finger and thumbs. The one that actually makes a L the right way is your left! You can even do it in your car while getting directions!

Amy said...

I should have written "the one that actually makes a L the correct way is your left" (not "right way" ...that could confuse you more!)

aron said...

i wore those asics armwarmers for the sf half this year and loved them!!! sucks they didnt work for you :(

Amanda said...

Great reviews! I love my Recovery Socks but now you have me lusting after these bigger and better compression socks. Poor wallet:( I am glad I don't need to rush out and buy arm warmers though, and I'm definitely going to try the blister powder when I up my mileage again. I've looked at it a few times but never purchased any.