Adventures on the trapeze

Earlier this year, I took a trapeze class with a bunch of friends at Circus Fund in San Diego – had an absolute blast. I’ve been meaning to get back and finally had the chance to do so last weekend.

This is the first trick you learn as a beginner: a knee hang with a fancy little flipping dismount:

The next trick you learn, building on the knee hang, is a knee hang to a “catch” – here is a video clip of knee hang to catch from my first lesson… I’m in the purple tights near the end and the guy catching me in Rich, the instructor.

I hope to continue learning new tricks… unfortunately on last weekend’s lesson I injured my hamstring doing the next basic trick… a swing to two-position splits. When I heal, I’m going back – in fact I just bought a 5-class pass (only $30 thru a Living Social deal today) to another place in San Diego called Aerial Revolution — can’t wait to see what else I can learn.

 

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New workout essential – Action Wipes. Because… “Your face is not a baby’s butt. Don’t wipe it like one.”

Love that quote in the title. It’s from Martha Van Inwegen, creator of Action Wipes, a person I recently “met” via Twitter. We had entered into a discussion about the ubiquity of the baby wipe (as a mom, I keep those suckers handy) and she mentioned that Action Wipes are a terrific alternative to baby wipes for quick wipedowns or even quick showers between workouts. My interest was piqued and she graciously sent me some of these Action Wipes to try out.

The wipes were burning a hole into my workout bag and into my brain… could they really be that different than baby wipes or just a workout towel? My workout schedule has been a bit erratic so it was about a week before I even had plans to get sweaty.

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The good news is… I finally had the opportunity to try them today during the season opener of my “old-lady” soccer league. The bad news is, this opportunity was preceded by me actually face-planting into the dry, hard earth, on a patch of ground that so charmingly had both a previously-chewed blob of spearmint gum and remanents of dog feces in one square-foot area… the area where my FACE was. Lovely.

Anyhow, I diverge. I was helped off the field (ankle injury) and immediately thought to freshen myself up using the Action Wipes. I ripped open the packet and was pleasantly greeted with a fresh, natural scent. Not an artifical I’m-a-lemony-hand-wipe-who’s-never-met-a-real-lemon smell, but an honest to goodness “fresh” smell that reminded me of high-end, clean shampoo. The texture of the wipe was quite perfect – the woven-like material helped me release the caked-on grime of a full game of soccer from my skin yet it was soft enough for my face. The size of the towel itself was generous… I didn’t really need a second towel though I used one because I was so dirty from laying in the dirt for several minutes. It was satisfying to see how much dirt I removed from my body – and I was pleased that my smell had much improved.

At the end of the game, I handed out several of the wipes to my fellow players and heard them echo my excitement — “it smells so good!” and “where can I buy these?” A couple of the women on the team do the 3-Day Walk every year and are thinking Action Wipes would be a great addition to their packs. (Sorry, Martha, I wanted to get some Flip video of the reactions but I was laid up with a bum ankle).

So, bottom line… loved ’em. They really are a perfect complement to any sweaty workout – I can think of so many instances where I would use these, noteably when I finish a run with my running ladies and head out to Starbucks or out to eat before having a chance to grab a shower.

Disclosure: As stated above, Martha sent me these to try out as part of a nice discussion on Twitter. There were probably 12-15 of the wipes (value $15). She never asked me to post of tweet about the product but I wanted to share my opinion. The last time I reviewed something “soccer-related” was about Cleatskins… and for the record, I think that product matches the awesomeness of this product! The opinions expressed in this post and on this blog are my own and my disclosure policy is here

Been drinking more & more of this lately… Ultima

I’m trying to make this a summer of physical activity… and as such, during the expo at the La Jolla Half marathon, I chatted with a rep from Ultima about electrolyte replacement. I’m super conscious of sugars and carbs – a lasting memory of my experience with gestational diabetes – so I’m usually pretty skeptical of drinks like Gatorade and the like. I was happy to see Ultima uses ZERO sugar and nothing artificial. Actually they also sell this as an alternative to Pedialyte (for kids) and it has a great taste, too. I buy it in the large tub in powder form at health food stories like Henry’s.

 Drink Ultima Replenisher Electrolytes and minerals Ultima Replenisher Sugars Ultima Replenisher Primary Energy Source Ultima Replenisher Complex Carbs Ultima Replenisher Complex Ultima Replenisher Calories Carbs % Ultima Replenisher Sodium Ultima Replenisher Potassium Ultima Replenisher Magnesium Ultima Replenisher Calcium Ultima Replenisher Artificial Flavors, Colors or Sweeteners
                       

ULTIMA

13

0g

Complex Carbs

3g

100

10

37.5mg

75mg

12mg

34.5mg

No

Gatorade 2 14g Simple Sugar 0g 0 50 110mg 30mg 0mg 0mg Flavors & Colors
Vitamin Water “Balance” 1 13g Simple Sugar 0g 0 25 0mg 0mg 0mg 50mg No
Emer’gen-“C” 6 6g Simple Sugar 0g 0 25 75mg 250mg 75mg 62.5mg No
Propel 2 2g Simple Sugar 1g 0 10 35mg 40mg 0mg 0mg Sweetener
Crystal Light “Orange” 0 0g N/A 0g 0 0 0mg 0mg 0mg 0mg Flavors, Colors, Sweeteners
AminoVital 5 8g Simple Sugar 0g 0 30 10mg 50mg 0mg 55mg Sweetener
Gatorade Endurance 5 14g Simple Sugar 1g 7 80 200mg 90mg 3mg 6mg Colors
Gu20 3 2g Complex Carbs 11g 82 50 120mg 20mg 0mg 0mg No
CytoMax 3 5.6g Simple Sugar 3.2g 28 50 40mg 75mg Trace Amounts Trace Amounts Sweetener & Flavors
Clif Shot Electrolyte 5 10g 50/50 9.5g 49 80 200mg 50mg 12mg 11mg No
Powerbar Endurance 4 9g Simple Sugar 8g 47 70 160mg 10mg 8mg 10mg No
Pedialyte 3 5.9g Simple Sugar 0g 0 24 10.5mg 4.5mg 0mg 0mg Flavors, Colors, Sweeteners
                       

 

Spectators to RockNRoll Marathon get high tech running tracking option #RnRsd

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If you’ve ever had the (mis)fortune of agreeing to watch a friend of loved one run a marathon at a spot along the route, it’s kind of a drag. You kind of have an idea as to when your friend should pass but you don’t really know, so you strain your eyes and half wonder if you missed him/her as you expectantly wait and wait for them to pass. No more.

Check out the techy greatness of this solution. For just $2 you can track your favorite runner and get txt updates to your phone. I think the next generation of this service should be direct updates to the runner’s Twitter and/or Facebook account – sure would save effort on the live tweeting ;P.

I’m running the half tomorrow with a bunch of my running “sistahs” – one of them is pregnant but wants to cheer us on the route so Shelly will be getting 8-10 of my updates via this nifty tool as I go.

San Diego Red Dress Run

(Links in post NSFW)

Saturday marks a little-known tradition called the Red Dress Run, an event that started in San Diego about 20 years ago and has spread the world over. The RDR is not a typical run – no stopwatches or Clif bars to be seen anywhere – and in fact, participants come in all shapes in sizes and ages (as long as they are over the legal drinking age). It’s a diverse crowd united really only by two things: a love for a good time and the willingness to wear a red dress.

The Original Red Dress Run is organized by the San Diego Hash House Harriers and features live music, free-flowing beer, dinner, and a scenic run through the streets of San Diego with stops around town and in bars. Part pub crawl, part run, part night of debauchery, it’s a challenge not to have fun during the RDR. If you’ve never heard of the Hash Hash Harriers the best (and officially unofficial) way to describe the group is “the drinking group with the running problem.” So yeah, both drinking & running and great fun for people who enjoy both.

You can pretty much find a hash group in any major city — trust me on that, I’ve even run with the Beijing Hash — and San Diegans are lucky to have one of the most active communities in the hashing world, with almost a hash every night of the week. The Red Dress Run, however, is held just once a year.

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I dug through and found a few pics (the clean ones) from previous Red Dress Runs… this will actually be my first RDR since 2006, when I initiated my 9-month son to the tradition. He wore his first (and only) dress and I pushed him in the jogging stroller through the streets of San Diego with (that year) about 1100 other men and women clad in our red dresses.

Tomorrow night I plan to wear my trusty back-up red dress (the one with the wings was pretty much destroyed at RDR 2004) which is an actual dress I wore to a prom back in high school – thank goodness my parents are such pack rats and never got rid of that dress because you just cannot BUY that type of fashion today. Anyhow, I may end up tweeting some of the action via my @babyblooze Twitter account tomorrow night, so watch out folks. And San Diego peeps… you might just want to avoid downtown all together.

ON ON!!!

This is messed up: VIP Porta Potty promotion

In a few weeks, I’ll be running the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon. As part of their pre-race marketing machine, I got an email inviting me to spend $100 on Brooks shoes so I can have the PRIVILEGE of using the nicer porta potties before I start running on race day. Huh??

OK, these folks definitely get props for an inventive and creative promo — I have never heard of anything like this. But really? Am I going to switch shoe brands or basically throw down a hundred bucks just for the pleasure of peeing in a climate-controlled porta potty an hour before I run?

The ONLY thing that excited me about this promotion is that in addition to the running water and flushing toliets they boast about (side note: we live in the US; we should not be THAT excited about this), they also promise plenty of “Run Happy surprises” in the restrooms. <????> Maybe I’ll have to elbow my way past the specially-stickered race bib runners and sneak a peek to check out what the big surprise is.

Really, if you have time, read the details of this promo. Especially the last paragraph.

Brooks VIP Porta Potty for a Super-Deluxe Start

Brooks’ VIP Porta Potty is our way of thanking you for choosing Brooks and Moving Comfort gear, and rewarding you for all your hard work training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.

To get your race off to the best possible start, we’ll have comfortable, climate-controlled restroom trailers set up at the starting line. Running water, flushing toilets, and some Run Happy surprises await.

To access this pre-race luxury, you’ll need to snag a Brooks VIP Porta Potty pass in one of two easy ways:

1. Head to a participating  retailer between May 3 and June 3, 2010, and purchase $100 in Brooks or Moving Comfort apparel or Brooks shoes. Offer valid only at listed locations. ~OR~

2. Come to the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Health and Fitness Expo on June 4-5, and purchase $150 in official Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon merchandise, Brooks apparel or shoes, or Moving Comfort apparel.

Either way, you’ll receive a sticker for your race bib. The sticker is your race-day pass to Brooks’ VIP Porta Potty.

Please note: Brooks’ VIP Porta Potty will only be available for use before the race, as the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is a point-to-point course. To maximize your enjoyment, total admittance is capped. We strongly recommend coming early because-trust us, it’s worth it! Hours: The Brooks VIP Porta Potty opens for business on race day starting at 4:30 a.m. and is available until 7:00 a.m.

 

Protect your kicks – great invention (file this under “why didn’t I think of that”?)

I wasn’t raised as a girly-girl. I had a big brother kicking my butt for too many years to NOT wanna do the fun sporty-sports the guys did. So even as an adult, my sense of style is somewhat an afterthought while my taste for good athletic equipment is unnatural.

I had a passionate relationship with the last pair of cleats I owned and it was quite difficult to part with them (truth be told, even in the state they are in – falling apart & smelly – I keep them as a backup). So as Spring 2010 season begun, I embarked on a $100+ journey to obtain a new pair. And what a fine pair I bought though I was FLOORED to find that high-end soccer shoes nowadays are made from KANGAROO – ick.

Here’s the kicker (heh). I’ve now spent more money on my soccer shoes than on any other pair of shoes (including running) that I own. In addition to my weekend games, I occasionally play at work. But at work, I have a LONG walk from the locker room, over office floors, sidewalks, and basketball courts, before I get to the grassy haven of the soccer field. SO I had to find a solution: either change shoes Mister-Rogers style on the field OR find a way to protect them. Enter Cleatskins.

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Cleatskins are the greatest invention for people who wear cleats – think soccer, baseball, football, golf players. Rather than deaden your cleats or even hurt the surface of the floor you’re walking on, you can wear a stretchable, flexible sheath on your shoe. The ones I have are called Cleatskins Pro and they are made from material that remind me of Crocs. They easily fit snugly over the cleat part, both protecting your investment and also giving you added traction (ever try to chase a toddler on a slick sidewalk with cleats on?) I like that I can put my shoes on at home then hustle out the door and drive to the game, Cleatskins & all, so when I’m late (like always), I can quickly remove them and hop onto the field.

The only bad thing about Cleatskins is that once I decided to buy them, they weren’t readily available in my area – online is the way to go (though in my case, a rep from the company sent me a pair when I had trouble accessing the online store). After showing them off on the soccer field last Saturday, however, my teammates were very interested in buying some on the spot. So Cleatskins, if you’re listening, make your next retail location like Soccer Fanatic or at least sell them to our league – I think you’d have a lot of customers who share my sense of soccer function over fashion (though the colored ones are pretty fashionable!)

Disclosure: As stated above, I received this as a free product sample (value $29.99). The company did NOT ask me to post my thoughts/tweet about the product but I think Cleatskins are totally awesome and of course I wanted to write a quick post to share my opinion. The opinions expressed in this post and on this blog are my own and my disclosure policy is here.