Yanky Sport Hanky Review

Have you heard of this cool new sport hanky product with the name that makes you giggle?

When I first saw the product on social media, I chuckled a little at the name, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to test one out on my long runs. It’s taking a little while for the weather to warm up in Calgary, but thankfully my last 2 long runs have been done in nice weather that I have overdressed for – so, I sweat! And, the Yanky is great for wiping sweat off your face and neck, while you’re on the go. Apparently you can also use this as a hanky too for a pesky runny nose, but I haven’t tried that yet. You could also use it to wipe mud off your legs after a trail run, but then you probably won’t want to rub it on your face… so, get two!

yanky sport hanky

Take it with you on a run!

First, this little hanky is super soft, which is nice compared to carrying paper towel or wiping your face with your sleeve. Second, the Yanky is attached to a little clip that extends, so you can clip it to your pocket or running belt for easy access. As the owner Ryan says, “Just Yank It!” (You can’t help but laugh a little, right?) Third, this product is based out of New Brunswick, Canada, which I love because so many products come out of the States, so it’s nice to see an awesome product from Canada! Last, this little hanky is really absorbent, which makes it useful for many different sports and activities. My boyfriend snagged it for an indoor cycle session and found it great for wiping up sweat. I might not get it back!

yanky hanky clip

Clip it to your running belt or pack!

Have you heard of Yanky? Do you want something better than your sleeve for wiping your nose or sweat while working out?

Check Yanky out on Facebook and Twitter to learn more!

Saucony Peregrine ICE+ Review and Thoughts

Since I’ve become a bit more serious about running, I now spend more time doing training runs outside all year round. I also spend more time b*tching about it throughout the whole winter too… just ask my bf! So, when Saucony Canada sent me a pair of the Peregrine ICE+ I was beyond excited.

Saucony Peregrine ICE

All new & shiny!

Normally, I run through all different types of winter weather in my regular running shoes. Snow, slush, rain, sleet, wind, cold, whatever – I was using my regular running shoes and burning them out pretty quick. I don’t usually have a problem with cold feet, so this worked most of the time… except for when my feet got wet. Running in heavy rain and slush always caused me to get wet feet, but I just dealt with it and kept going. People thought I was crazy, but I often felt overwhelmed by the amount of trail and winter running shoe options that I just didn’t take the time to sit in a store and try them all on. So, I was pleasantly surprised when these shoes showed up in my mailbox. And, I actually didn’t try them right away because Calgary had a pretty mild winter right up to the middle of December, but since then winter has been crazy and I’ve been running in these shoes most of the time.

First, I’ll say that I love these shoes. I’m picky about shoes, so this was kind of a surprise. Second, I haven’t had cold or wet feet all winter yet, and I’ve been able to maintain close to my regular pace when running over snow and ice. Definitely happy about that! Last, I actually think they look pretty cool too. Not too flashy or dull, perfect look for winter and trail running.

Calgary Saucony Peregrine Ice

You can’t tell, but it was freezing cold this day!

Now, down to the nitty gritty info:

Pros

– Vibram ® Arctic Grip in high contact areas of the sole – this has been awesome for reducing the amount of ice/snow slippage when I’m out running on local pathways and sidewalks, excellent traction.

– Flexshell-protected upper – keeping my feet warm and dry all winter (it’s water resistant!). I’ve run in slush, strong winds, and a snowstorm and my feet were the only part of my body that were warm!

– Women’s colour blue/black actually look pretty cool… see my pics 😉

– Saucony EVERUN in the heel – more comfy for when I heel strike… don’t lie, we all do it!

– Apparently there’s a rock plate in these, which is great for trail runners. As a roadrunner, I haven’t taken these on the trails yet, but thought I would still point it out. Also, don’t really notice it as I find these shoes quite comfortable and flexible.

Cons

– Some might find the price point a little high for a pair of running/trail shoes, but after all the great runs I’ve experienced in these this winter, I’m thinking it’s worth it. Keep an eye out at your local running store for sales if you’re budget conscious and looking to grab a pair.

Specs from the Saucony site:

– Pronation : neutral
– Cushion : responsive
– Type : trail
– Surface : ice, trail, grass (I’ve run with these on grass, love it!)
– Water resistant : yes (but not classified as waterproof)
– Offset / “drop” : 4mm
– Heel stack height : 21.55mm
– Forefoot stack height : 17.55mm
– Weight 8.5oz / 241g.

Saucony Peregrine Ice snow

Do you have a favourite shoe for winter running? Have you tried these yet? 

 

Disclaimer: Saucony Canada sent me these shoes, but did not ask me to write a review or anything like that. I just wanted to share with you how much I’ve enjoyed these shoes throughout many different winter conditions. You can check out where else I’ve taken these shoes on my Instagram. 🙂 

New Year Goals – How you doing?

Well, we’re one month into 2017 and I’m wondering how your goals/resolutions/intentions are coming along?

If you’ve popped by this blog recently, you probably noticed that I only set some intentions for the year last week. I’m still working on my race schedule, but so far I’m just trying my best to keep it together for the first month of 2017.

Often it seems like this is a tough time of year for some people. Winter blues are kicking in, maybe some goals haven’t been started, or we could be putting too much pressure on ourselves so this is causing stress or anxiety. Trust me, I’ve been feeling this a little bit myself lately. I know it’s not easy, but maybe this is a good time to re-visit the goals we set to see if they can be adjusted to suit our needs and wants more. Maybe they need to be a little more realistic, or broken down into more manageable pieces. Whatever it takes, I’d say now is a good time to start this process.

The important part here is that you don’t give up on those goals! Keep moving forward.

If you’re reading this and thinking “Crystal, you’re crazy, why are you checkin’ in on me?“, that’s ok. 😉 There’s totally another reason why I’m harassing you about your goals/intentions/resolutions: I’m offering a fun little giveaway over on Instagram!!

Momentum Jewelry 2017

Head on over to my Instagram to enter!

If you’re finding yourself in need of a little motivation and inspiration, then my Momentum Jewelry giveaway is for you! Head on over to my Instagram for all the details and how to enter! 🙂

Are you sticking to your goals so far? Are there any you can adjust so that they are more attainable?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 12

Just under 7 weeks till the Honolulu Marathon! Time to freak out now, right?! Nawww, just kidding… 😉 Though, it is time to start thinking about what I’m going to do when I get there and also what I’ll be wearing for the race. Dress up in something fun or keep it practical so that I am prepared for the weather? I guess we’ll see…

Here’s how my week went:

Monday – rest / light walking

Tuesday – run : 30 mins – didn’t really want to run, but got my butt out the door somehow.

Wednesday – cross train : elliptical 40 mins – tried to do some leg strength exercises again and had some really intense hamstring pain in my right leg. Going to hold off on this for now.

Thursday – run : 60 mins – 2 x 15 min tempo in the middle of the run

Friday – run : 30 mins – good pace, easy run

Saturday – rest

Sunday – run : 25 KM long run – This long run actually went pretty well, which has me pleasantly surprised and feeling good! I ran a mostly new route, so I think that helped the time to fly by… I didn’t start ruminating about how much I wanted to go home till around 22K. That’s a big deal for me! 🙂 I had a little bit of left ankle pain, but mostly felt good and just enjoyed the whole morning of running. I even ran the last 6K without any music! Mileage is really amping up now!

Total KMs = 46.22

Grumpy Runner Run Calgary

Looking pretty grumpy about my Tuesday run 😛

The long run mileage is really getting up there now and I usually find myself being nervous the day before. I worry about getting bored or if my mental game will be strong. I know that I can do the run physically, but my mental game sometimes is a real struggle. I’m glad this week that I didn’t have many issues with this and I just ran and had fun. Nice change!

Thanks to Mud Hero & Deep Relief & GoodLife Fitness I received a pretty sweet care package of products to try out (pictured below). As an athlete, you hope that you won’t need to use these types of products often, but it’s good to have them for recovery just in case. The yoga mat, New Balance technical shirt, and handy carry-bag will definitely be used often – good thing blue is my fave colour! 🙂 Deep Relief & Mud Hero are actually teamed up to promote these events around Canada, so check out their site and sign up for one of these fun & crazy events in 2017!

Deep Relief Mud Hero

How do you calm the running mental game while training? 

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 11

Week 11 already?! Wow, time is flying. This race is coming up fast and I still have so much planning and training to do. I’m super excited of course, but also a little nervous. I guess that’s normal as you build up towards a marathon!

Calgary Running St. Patricks Island

Am I tired? Need my sunglasses? 😉

Here’s how the week went:

Monday – swim : 350 m kicking & hot tub for long run recovery

Tuesday – run : 30 mins – was supposed to be a hill workout, but I felt strange pains in my right ankle & calf, so I didn’t want to push it. Decided to switch up the plan and move hills to later in the week. Upper Body Strength 3 x (5 pushups, 10 crunches, 15 tricep dips)

Wednesday – elliptical : 30 mins; Lower Body Strength 3 x (10 lunges each leg, 15 squats)

Thursday – run : 45 mins random Fartlek – started to feel DOMS from yesterday’s strength (Oh no…)

Friday – elliptical : 30 mins & stretching/rolling (was supposed to run) – DOMS for real. Seriously learning a lesson here. I didn’t really want to notice my glutes this much.

Saturday – rest – to prepare for Sunday long run

Sunday – run : long run – 23 KM. This run was good and I certainly felt better than last week. It was also a couple of degrees warmer, so that may have helped. No wanting to cry… success! 😉 I kind of wanted to stop running around 15 K, but convinced myself that there was only 8 K to go and that I couldn’t give up. Somehow that worked! My long run milage is getting up there, so I’m going to need some different motivations to get me through the tough parts.

So, what do you notice about this week? Well, I didn’t get that hill workout done. And my very simple leg strength workout caused me to have DOMS for 2 days. Seriously, 2 days! Tough lesson learned this week… DO MORE STRENGTH. Because of these DOMS, I definitely didn’t want to push a hill workout, so I feel a little guilty missing that. I did add some cross-training (elliptical), so that’s a plus!

This week I was also fortunate enough to give Energy Bits a try after my runs. Have you heard of them before? Well, they are these little tabs that are made of 100% natural organic spirulina algae. These little tabs are packed with a punch – 40 vitamins & minerals with only 1 calorie per tab! Energy Bits are easy to take on the go and are a great way to get healthy, clean energy for your workouts or just to get through your day. They also have Recovery Bits, which I like to add to my smoothie after a long run. You don’t even taste them! I’m a big fan because they’re so easy and they have so many health benefits. They’re paleo & vegan, and also provide a source of iron, antioxidants, vitamin c, and more. Seriously, check out the Energy Bits site (after reading this post!) for more information. They’re also pretty awesome to follow on Twitter. 🙂

Energy Bits Recovery Bits

Yay for Bits!

What’s your preferred type of workout fuel?

And while we’re here, do you have a cure for DOMS?  😉 Hahaha (You know, in case I do this again…)

Thinking Out Loud on a Monday

I know, I know… Thinking Out Loud posts are usually scheduled for Thursdays, but I wanted to think ramble out loud today. My running motivation has been a little better over the past couple of weeks (life is still in chaos), so I thought it was a good time for an update. 🙂

~ Starting week 3 of training for my first marathon with a rest day today… Ok, I lie. I might go to the gym later to shake out my legs on a stationary bike or something after yesterday’s 14.70KM (9.1 miles) long run. I’ve been a little nervous thinking about my first marathon, but so far training has been good. I can’t let thoughts about how long 42.2KM (26.2 miles) actually is get to me right now. Just focus on this week’s training and do the best I can. Still need to get my head around strength training and the best exercises for me in this case, but I have been doing better with low impact cross training on non-runs days with biking and yoga.

Calgary winter running

Looking at the open road ahead…

~ Been comparing myself to others on social media a little too much lately. Anyone else do this? I don’t know if it’s because my life is in a little bit of chaos right now or if there’s some other reason, but I need to cut it out. We all have our own stories and journeys and I need to keep my focus on mine. It’s tough in this day & age, ya know?

~ Got the opportunity from Fit Approach / Sweat Pink to try the new Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars. They sent 1 chocolate and 1 cinnamon bar, and I’ll be honest… I really only enjoy the chocolate bar (big surprise, right). I have purchased more of them since because I do believe they make a nice quick snack on the go or after a workout. Each bar has 10 grams of protein & 10 grams of omegas, so they make great fuel during any time of the day. If you’d like to try them, Manitoba Harvest is offering 15% off of a box at the checkout with the code hhbarlaunch1015 until March 31, 2016. That’s an awesome deal!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Bars Saucony

Mmmm chocolate after running 🙂

~ I haven’t even ran my first marathon yet and I signed up for my second! I couldn’t help it… the Honolulu Marathon had a fantastic registration deal going on for the month of January & I just signed up on a whim. My boyfriend convinced me to travel somewhere different for my next racecation than California, so this seemed like a great idea. I’m going to plan and save for this one & hopefully can make it work. So excited though… it looks like an amazing race!! Have you ran Honolulu or travelled there? Tips?

~ As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently going through a major transition period in my life. Some not so great things have happened to me and now I’m in a place of trying to figure out what to do next. I’m trying to make the best of what I have and where I am, but honestly, some days are better than others. I am sure there are many out there who understand and who’ve been through similar situations. I just hope that you can bear with me through it and I’m always thankful for your support. This is seriously such a great community to be around!

Ok, that’s it for my ramblings today. Maybe next time I’ll do it right and schedule it for a Thursday. 🙂 Otherwise, I hope you all have a great week! Stay strong out there! ❤

How’s winter run/fitness/triathlon/etc training going for you so far?

Planned your 2016 race season yet?

Holiday Gifts for Runners

So pretty!

So pretty!

It’s that time of year again!!! December has started and now we’re counting down to the holidays. Are you excited?

To be honest, I am a Christmas crazy. I love the decorations, lights, movies, and music. I’m already listening to Christmas music at work… don’t judge me! 😉

So, with the holidays comes trying to think of the perfect gift for those special people in your life. Sometimes this can be stressful, but I don’t think it should be. Over the years I’ve tried to minimize what I buy and have really narrowed it down to purchasing gifts for those most close to me. Honestly, as I’ve aged I like to focus more on being together with those I love, and well, the food. I love the food. 🙂

If you’re still reading and thinking about what to get that special runner in your life, then I got some ideas for you!

– Race entries! For some runners (me) races become an addiction, so a race entry for almost any distance will make a great gift.

– Gift cards – for run or fitness gear, to a running store, etc. This is a great way for that finicky runner in your life to pick out his/her own gift. Trust me, we appreciate being able to get more gear… even if there’s no room in our closets.

– Books or fitness journals – motivational books or tracking journals are great for motivating us to get our butts out the door… especially in winter!

– iTunes gift card for creating some kick ass playlists

– Nutrition/protein – be careful with this one, runners are particular! If you see certain types or brands all around your house, go with those… otherwise, gift card.

– Hydration pack/belt

– Foam roller… love/hate, but we need this one!

– GoPro or selfie stick – does you runner love taking pics? One of these will brighten up their day and really up their running pic game!

– Electronics – does your runner need a new tracking watch? Maybe an iPod for music or cool headphones?

Sticky9 magnets of your runner’s favourite pics – no, they didn’t ask/pay me to say this, I just love these for myself and for friends. They make a great little addition to Christmas cards or stockings too.

Spirit of the Marathon DVD – seriously inspirational.

Your complete support and love for us when we’re being crazy, hangry, training, etc. This one is the most important. ❤

Running to holiday coffee ;)

Running to holiday coffee 😉

There you have it! A great list to get you started on finding an awesome gift for the runner or fitness addict in your life. This might also be a list of what I want… but, shhhhh. 🙂

What would you add? As a runner or fitness nut, what are you hoping to receive this holiday season?

Runtastic Orbit Review & Giveaway

*** This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! ***

After hearing more and more people talk about how much they loved their fitness/activity trackers, my interest in these devices started to grow and I began doing a little research. I asked around on Twitter which units people preferred and I read a lot of reviews online. I didn’t end up purchasing one at the time because I wanted to sit on it for a little while to see what people were saying about the ones they had purchased. And then, in some kind of twist of fate, I was offered the opportunity to review one for my blog. Turns out the offer was to review a new tracker hitting the market from the popular app developer, Runtastic. If you don’t know much about Runtastic, you can check out their site, but you could also check out one (or more) of their cool fitness apps they have available. They have apps for running, cycling, squatting, and more. I’ve even been using their tabata timer app for a while, which I find handy for my TRX/Kettlebell workouts.

runtastic orbit box

In the box

1 Runtastic Orbit

2 Wristbands – 1 black, 1 blue + 1 Clip

1 USB charging cable

1 Quick Instructions + 1 Legal and Product Information + 1 Coloured Wristband Card

Product Summary

24 hour tracking of your activities, steps, calories, and sleep

2 different options for wearing – black/blue wristband or clip for a more discreet look

Syncs with Runtastic Me app – see more detailed views of your activities, calories, distance and sleep. Set goals and reminder vibration alarms.

Waterproof up to 300 feet (*note: I did not test this out as I have no ability to go that deep in water! I also did not wear it in the shower because there are times when I like to remove all of my jewelry and accessories)

iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, 5C and Android 4.3+ supported (but the Runtastic Orbit can run as a stand alone device if preferred)

{Link to a detailed user manual here – the Runtastic Orbit product page here}

Available for purchase on their site or Amazon.ca for $119.99 (Will be available at Canada Computers and Walmart in October)

Ok, now that you have a quick overview of the Runtastic Orbit, we can get into the more detailed portion of the review. I’ve broken this up into a couple sections to make it a little easier to read.

Wearibility (is this even a word? It is for now 😉 )

Personally, I found the Runtastic Orbit very easy to wear. I read some reviews that mentioned that the wristbands were a bit large, but I did not find this to be the case. I wear larger watches and accessories quite often, so this was easy to transition into wearing. Seriously, I slept with it on and it didn’t disturb me at all, which was an original concern. I alternated between the two different colour wristbands according to my outfits, but I never tried out the clip. I preferred to wear the device like a bracelet while incorporating it into whatever outfit I was wearing that day. Also, the Runtastic Orbit can double as a watch, so it’s quite convenient to wear. The screen is bright once you press the main button to scan through the options, which is nice – made it easy to see when I wanted to check the time or steps while outside.

Functions

While wearing the Runtastic Orbit you can quickly scan through your totals for the day by pressing the silver button on the front. In this sequence you will see – time, steps, calories, and active minutes. For more details, you can easily sync using Bluetooth with the Runtastic Me app on your phone. Once synced you can see visual representations of your steps, active minutes, calories, and distance by the hour. Also, you can check out your “Sleep Efficiency” breakdown, which I found to be the most fascinating part. This screen shows you a coloured timeline that differentiates between “awake” time, “light” sleep, and “deep” sleep. I’ve always thought that I tossed and turned too much during the night and this little device actually shows me how much I do.

runtastic orbit sleepscreen

To re-charge the Runtastic Orbit, you plug the little USB charging cable into your computer and connect the other end magnetically to the back of the device. In my opinion, it does take a bit long to re-charge, which could be annoying if you really want to be tracking your steps or sleep closely. To solve this, I charged it during the day because I was more interested the sleep tracking overall.

One last small function that I found to be fun was the happiness tracking. It’s basic, but with the Runtastic Orbit you can press the silver button twice to let it know when you’re feeling happy/content. Then when you sync with the Runtastic Me app, the report will actually show small happy faces to represent when you used this feature. Sure, it’s not science, but it can be like a small reminder to consider when you’re feeling good as you are going about your day.

Accuracy

The Runtastic Orbit doesn’t have specific sensitivity settings, so the accuracy is not exactly right on point. But, this appears to be the case for most activity trackers from what I can tell. The situation here is that the device occasionally counts random arm movements as steps – unloading dishwasher, bicep curls, wildly waving arms for no reason – but, this isn’t a big deal to me because I count these movements as activity in general. If you’d like to reduce the chances of this happening though, you could always wear the device in the clip. Overall, I’m sure it over estimates a little bit, but after wearing it while running 12K I don’t think it matters. For me I look at it as counting my activity (not just actual steps) throughout the day, which is what I’m interested in seeing since I work in an office and barely move from my chair throughout my shift.

runtastic orbit mainscreen

Additional Points

Overall, I really enjoy the Runtastic Orbit. I’m finding it interesting to monitor the sleep tracking and I like the idea of working towards the steps goal. I sit for too long at my work desk, so wearing this is keeping me accountable to move around. I’ve noticed that I will also walk around now while waiting for something (like the bus or the elevator), instead of just standing still or leaning on a wall. It’s like, while I am wearing the device I feel an obligation to move – which I should be doing anyway. I’m glad to see that I have been achieving my steps every day, but the real test will definitely be the winter. I might just have to keep you posted!

Giveaway

And now to the fun stuff – the giveaway! Up for grabs is one Runtastic Orbit (pictured in package above) and here’s how to enter:

– Leave a comment telling me your favourite way to stay active and keep moving

– Extra entry – Like Runtastic on Facebook or Instagram (tell me what you did in the comments below)

– Extra extra entry – Like YogiCrystal on Facebook or Instagram (tell me what you did in the comments below)

Contest open until Wednesday, September 10 at 11:59 pm EST

Good luck!! 🙂

 

Spring Onzie Giveaway Winner

First of all, I would like to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone that entered the Spring 2014 Onzie Yoga Apparel giveaway this past week.

I really enjoyed reading all of the comments regarding what you’re looking forward to this spring. Your posts also got me really excited for farmer’s markets, fresh grass, patio hopping, and more. But, if you’re in Canada right now, you might feel that this winter has been relentless – especially with the cold temps returning and possibly snow again! Hopefully we can all find little ways to get ourselves through this chilly weather, whether that’s daydreaming or actually taking a trip somewhere warm. (Not in the plans for me right now, so I’ll have to stick with imagining it’s spring haha!)

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for… the winner is

……

Tina E!!

Hope you enjoy those lovely, colourful spring clothes from Onzie!

Be sure to check out their site, Facebook page, Instagram, and/or Pinterest page for gorgeous pictures and posts about yoga and their apparel.

Stay warm and smiling out there!

wpid-IMG_20140227_215027.jpg

Spring Onzie Giveaway!

*** This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! ***

It’s been a loooong winter.

I’m not sure why, but it feels like this winter has been even longer than the last. It’s possible that I say that every year, but either way, I’m ready for this season to end. Last week, almost serendipitously, Onzie contacted me after I had spent an afternoon daydreaming about spring and all the joys the new season brings. It’s like they knew that I was thinking about beautiful colours, fresh air, and lighter clothing. Yes, I long for the days when I don’t have to complete a workout adding on layers along with my heavy winter coat and boots.

That’s why I’m super excited to bring you another giveaway from Onzie Yoga Apparel to celebrate the launch of their Spring 2014 Collection. If you don’t know much about Onzie, this great company hails from southern California, where all of their fabulous products are made. You can read more about their story here, but just know that Onzie apparel is light, free flowing, versatile, and comfortable for all of your active needs. I love these featured pieces for yoga and the shorts are also perfect for running. The top is even cute enough to wear with a casual outfit, when the weather gets warmer of course!

This past week also got me thinking about the other aspects of spring that I am excited about. I know that I can’t force the weather and I shouldn’t ruminate on it too much, but I can’t wait for that warm, beautiful air and the chance to have the sun shining on my face. Here’s a few other things I’m pumped about for the changing of the seasons:

5 Things I’m Looking Forward To This Spring

~  Running outdoors and the early season races

~  Fresh grass and beautiful blooming flowers

~  New bright colours and light, fresh clothing

~  Bike riding and more outdoor activities

~  Cheerful, fun attitudes after a long, dark winter

And now for the giveaway details!

Prize is one All in One Tank Top and one Full Coverage Short (pictured below & at the bottom – you get to pick your own patterns and sizes)

Contest open until Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST

Contest open to residents of Canada and the United States

wpid-IMG_20140219_075939.jpg

What you need to do:

~  Comment on this post about what you’re looking forward to this spring

For awesome extra entries (make sure to tell me what you did in the comments of this post):

~  Like Onzie on Facebook

~  Like YogiCrystal on Facebook

~  Follow Onzie or YogiCrystal on Pinterest (2 entries if you follow both!)

Good luck everyone!  

(Apologies to the dudes, but you could submit some entries and try to win these for that special gal in your life!)