Meb For Mortals: A Book Review

*Disclaimer – I was provided a complimentary electronic copy of Meb for Mortals from the people at Runner’s World to review. I was not compensated for this review in any other way and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Two years ago, one year after the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, a 38 year old won first place. But not just any 38 year old. Meb Keflezighi. An American who vowed he would win this race and did just that, honoring all the victims and inspiring the entire country. It was a Hollywood moment that couldn’t have been any more fitting.

Meb has always been a hero of mine. As a New York-based runner, I’ve seen him at the start line of numerous races with a determined look and speedy legs. I’ve seen him blaze past me in the blink of an eye and cheered him on more times than I could count. And it never gets old. Every time I watch him run it reminds me why I love this sport and why I push myself each and every day to be a better runner.

So what is Meb’s secret to success? He’s won both New York City and Boston Marathons as well as Olympic medals, and in his new book Meb for Mortals he shares some of his secrets and strategies to how he accomplished these incredible athletic feats. From the mental aspect of running to the physical, this book feels like a conversation with Meb about his training and his recommendations for runners to perform at their best. Throughout the book he even demonstrates specific stretches he uses, strength training routines, what to eat, how to crosstrain, and discusses realistic long and short term goal setting and its importance—basically all the crucial information that can help you improve and tackle distance running. There is even a section in the book regarding the stretching “dos” and “don’ts”, including information about yoga and running.

Meb flag

While the book does not provide a specific training plan, it does provide insight into Meb’s training—what worked and what didn’t work. He stresses the importance of a proper diet in running, which I love and think often gets very overlooked. But instead of viewing that ice cream you couldn’t eat or the salad you got instead of pizza as a sacrifice, he suggests viewing these lifestyle changes as decisions instead. I love this perspective and it takes what we perceive to be something negative and turns it into a positive.

Here are some of my other favorite quotes from the book:

-“As I like to say, you can reach for the stars, but it’s not a bad thing if you land in a cloud.”
-“Commitment is a form of risk taking. That’s another way of saying there’s faith involved in commitment, because you don’t know if you’re going to reach your goal.”
-“If the goal you’re working toward has deep significance to you, you’ll find a way to persevere. But if someone else thrusts the goal upon you, when you hit tough stretches, you’re going to think, “Wait, why am I doing this?”
-“With the right goals and the commitment to keep pursuing them, you can achieve more in running than you ever thought possible.”

meg book cover

From cover to cover this book is filled with inspirational phrases and information to make you want to go out for a run. It is obvious how hard Meb trains to achieve his goals. He does clearly have natural talent, but to compete at his level it takes ultimate dedication and passion for the sport. And this passion was clearly evident during my reading. Meb has great perspectives into training and also how to adjust your training as you get older.

This book is certainly one to add to your running book collection for training ideas and strategies, to establish effective routines, running injury free, and also just to fuel your own running passion using the words of an American runner who continues to inspire us each and every time he laces up his shoes.

To Purchase & Social Media Information:
Buy Meb for Mortals HERE
Follow Meb on Twitter (@runmeb)
Follow Meb on Instagram (@runmeb)
Like Meb on Facebook

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Who else will be cheering on Meb in the Boston Marathon?! I know I will. Go Meb!

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Scotland Run 2015 & Run for the Parks Race Recaps

Since I’m delayed on getting my NYRR Scotland Run 10k race recap up, I decided to combine this post into two race recaps since I also ran another race today–the NYRR Run for the Parks 4m. In my attempts to achieve the 9+1 for next years NYC Marathon I’ve signed up for a bunch of races this month and next month since they are the best to run in weather-wise! Today at the Run for the Parks was honestly just the most beautiful day…it was cool and comfortable in the most perfect way for running. And last week during the Scotland Run was similar. I am the happiest girl ever that spring has finally arrived :)

Let’s start with the Scotland Run 10k. The 10k is not my favorite race distance, but I always enjoy the Scotland Run for its theme. There are bagpipes along the course which also reminds me of going to visit Scotland with my sister a few years ago–its an amazing culture! It was a little chilly at the race start, but nothing that two my Asics arm warmers couldn’t fix. I also tried out a new pair of shoes–the Asics Gel Nimbus 17–and I LOVED them! They are supportive without being heavy or overly correcting. LOVED them (full review to come later).

Scotland Run race morning

Scotland Run race morning

This was also a fun race for me because I had some company. My running buddy Katherine was there and my little sister, too! (side note: Katherine ran her first marathon today! So proud of her!). It was a treat to have some friends to run with and made the run go by so much faster. This race was a full loop of Central Park in the clockwise direction, which isn’t necessarily any easier than the normal counter-clockwise direction. After a super long walk from bag check to the race start (bag check was moved due to rain), we made it to the start and all met up in the corral.

With the little sister

With the little sister

Katherine and I

Katherine and I

We decided to run this race all together, without any pace goal or focus on our pace. We wanted to really enjoy the run and getting to run it together. It was great to have some nice conversation to help us get over the rolling hills and distract us from the wind that was trying to blow us all around! Even though we got to run down Harlem Hill, I think the rolling hills of running in this direction are even more challenging. Luckily I had two awesome running partners to help me out!

I’ve been slowly increasing my mileage after the low-mileage winter running I did, so this 6.2 miler was the second time I’ve run 6 miles in the past few months. It didn’t feel as tough as I thought it would, luckily and we trekked along for one full loop of the park. We finished a little over 1 hour and I got to cross the finishline hugging my sister! Such a nice moment :) Overall, even though I was super tired from waking up early to make it to the race on time, this was a really fun race with two awesome ladies! I also love the Scottish touches throughout the race!

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Today I ran the NYRR Run for the Parks 4 mile run in Central Park, but with no running buddies this time. I decided since it was just me that I would focus on speed a bit. I did a bunch of speedwork this winter since I did a good deal of treadmill running (honestly, I tried to finish treadmill runs faster so I pushed up the speed!). I wanted to see if the speedwork had any effect, and it did!

Central Park in the morning

Central Park in the morning

This morning was super beautiful and I was very happy to be running. I arrived at the park early to get in a few pre-race miles in order to do my long run. I headed up from the lower end of the park to the reservoir where I ran a loop and then back down to the start, for a total of 4.2 pre-race miles. Running was so fun and I felt amazing so there were no nerves going into the race, so I ended my run right as the race was about to start. Made it just in time for the national anthem! And since I was feeling so good I decided to push my pace once I crossed the start line.

Such a beautiful morning on the reservoir!

Such a beautiful morning on the reservoir!

Luckily this race excluded the Harlem Hills which would have slowed down my pace a bit. But the rest of the hills I anticipated and know well, having run in Central Park so many times. So I think that helped me to pace myself and handle the uphills and downhills appropriately. I also fed off the energy of the crowd and people seemed to be running faster today which was helpful for me to keep my frame of mind on my pace.

The miles seemed to fly by and before we knew it, we passed three miles. Even though I was at a total of 7 miles already, I felt SO strong. I wish I had signed up for a half marathon or something today the way my legs felt! Anyway, I really pushed it during the last mile and tried to pass as many people as I could. Thanks to all those random people who didn’t even know I was trying to pass them :) We ran uptown, past the reservoir, and looked across and back down along the west side.

Run for the Parks 2015

Run for the Parks 2015

Eventually I saw the finishline which for once wasn’t on an uphill! I pushed it and crossed the finishline; immediately I knew I ran faster than I usually do. My typical runs have been ~10:00/mile pace or a little above that, but today I finished in…

parksrun4

I know its not that fast for a lot of people but for me it is. And I have had issues with injuries when I run too fast, so finishing that and feeling good after is a huge deal for me. I’m super happy and had a great time running all 8.2 miles today in beautiful Central Park!

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What races have you ran lately? How did you do?
Are you doing any spring running?

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Filed under Central Park, race photos, race recap, race review, races

Opedix Tights: Kinetic Compression Gear Perfect for Runners

Disclosure: Opedix sent me a pair of Knee-Tec 2.0 tights to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I recently got the opportunity to test out a new piece of fitness gear from the good people of Opedix–the women’s Opedix Knee-Tec 2.0 Full Length Tights. I was super excited to try these out because of all the technology used to make them and the fact that I’ve never owned a pair of full length compression tights before. I really believe in the positive effects of compression, for me I notice that it helps my recovery especially after long runs, so I was extra excited to give these a try.

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“Incorporated into garments designed for training, rehab and everyday pursuits, our patented technology promotes dynamic alignment and optimal joint function… Opedix Technology was designed to activate the body’s kinetic chain, improving the motion and control of your joints. When they all work harmoniously, your body’s dynamic alignment and overall movement are dramatically improved.. Developed in partnership with renowned orthopedic surgeons and biomechanical scientists, Opedix technology optimizes the way you move across the full spectrum: training, performance, injury prevention and rehabilitation.” -Opedix website

Basically, your kinetic health is how movement affects joint function which is based on the kinetic chain. I love the science that was involved in developing these tights, and its certainly noticed when wearing them. These are not your average compression tights just there to give you deep pressure. Opedix tights focus on proper alignment and stability to improve your overall stability without sacrificing mobility–and this is absolutely achieved.

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When I first too these out of the box, I noticed the incredibly high quality of the fabric and materials. These are strong and very well made, with attention to detail throughout all aspects of the design. There are two types of fabric–a thicker fabric providing tension around key joints and a thinner, stretchier fabric around the calves, hamstrings, and quads that allows for mobility where it is needed. I found the drawstring waistband to be very comfortable and I love the higher waist, especially for a compression pant. The waistband didn’t dig into me (which is a primary reason I haven’t invested in compression pants before) which I was super happy about! I also love the non-zipper pocket in the back of the pants, big enough for a key, credit card, or a gel or two.

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Contrary to what I thought when I took them out, they weren’t too hard to put on. Once I aligned the tights to the proper body part, they went on with only a little bit of wiggling.

Running in Opedix:

I’ve worn these tights this winter on many runs–longer and shorter runs. They are super comfortable even though they are compression and provide a great deal of support. I preferred them for the longer slower runs because I felt that I benefitted most from them when my muscles were prone to fatigue–they seemed to delay the fatigue and help my muscles feel strong.

The fabric is perfect–breathable and airy for the warmer days but they kept me warm enough on colder runs this winter. They also come in capri-length which would be ideal for the current spring temperatures.

I also wore these post-run as a recovery tool, which I absolutely believe that compression helps with. For me, I found them comfortable to sit around in after a run and felt that they helped with allowing my muscles to recover faster between runs.

Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 6.19.25 PM

Here’s some “official” features of the pants:

-20-panel construction for optimal fit and function
-External draw-cord at the waist
-Low-profile elastic waistband for improved fit and comfort
-Breathable moisture wicking OPX and TR+ mesh fabric to help regulate temperature and manage moisture
-OPX base fabric: 200 grams per square meter, 80% nylon/20% spandex
-TR+ mesh banding fabric: 82% nylon/18% spandex
-Anti-odor treatment
-Inseam length: Medium-26 ½ inches, Medium-Petite 24 ½ inches
-Available in all black or black with fuchsia contrast stitching

And as with any compression pant/tight, sizing is important. But the site offers a thorough size chart so you can pick the perfect size for you.

Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 6.19.32 PM

I really think these are a great investment for any runner. They are a bit pricy at $195, but the quality is so great you will have these pretty much forever.

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And to close it out, here’s some gratuitous photos of my Murphy, and some photos from our Easter celebrations (which Karl and I hosted at our place this year!)…

Easter--so many sweets!

Easter–so many sweets!

Murphy in his Easter bandana

Murphy in his Easter bandana

Murphy being adorable :)

Murphy being adorable :)

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Do you wear compression tights? Do you like them?
How did you celebrate Easter?

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Filed under City life, clothing, Murphy the Cockapoo, product review