Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"So Deep" with Myorope

I've been a dedicated foam roller for a long time now. OK, I'll admit, I do slack on it every now and then because that thing can hurt, but overall I love what it does. I also use two tennis balls that are duct-taped together. So when I got word of a product that sort of combines those two things into one, I was intrigued.

It's called Myorope, and I likey! A good addition to the world of recovery as a tool for self-massage, trigger-point therapy and myofascial release.

According to it's creator, Neil, a triathlete who also strength trains, etc., Myorope was created to do what most self-massage tools can't: Target hard-to-reach spots that a big foam roller can't hone in on, and pinpoint those spots --including trigger points -- with multiple balls (that aren't covered in duct tape) vs. just one or two.

So I got a Myorope, and at first I thought, well, I have my foam roller and my tennis balls, and both seem to serve my needs, why do I need another similar device? Well besides the obvious reason that more balls are better than one (or two even) haha...

Here's what I like...

Myorope rolls a lot better than the tennis balls. I tend to get "stuck" on tennis balls.

The size of the balls -- size of a lcarosse ball -- is ideal and they dig into you well. Tennis balls are just a little too small and, for me, it's like I'm just sitting/lying on the floor, negating their effect. If that makes sense.

It actually conforms to the area I'm rolling and makes it easy to target a muscle or muscle groups.

Way more effective on my back than foam rollers and tennis balls. As validation of that: My boyfriend who has had back issues says he loves the massage and relief that Myorope provides.

Surprisingly works well on the IT Band (thought it wouldn't be tough enough).

Gets my hamstrings better than foam roller/tennis balls.

Easy to store compared to foam roller (think: travel).

Better looking than a clump of duct-taped balls (a good conversation piece too*).

Cheap ($15-$25 depending on your ball # preference).

On the flip side (just so I don't sound like a total infomercial)...

I still think a foam roller is better on IT band and calves.

If you're supine (face up) or sitting and want to roll out muscles like your quads or calves, then I think products like a runner's stick are better at digging deep than Myorope.

Foam rollers, tennis balls and like products (i.e. TP Therapy) will still do the job. Heck, we even have yoga mats wrapped around large PVC piping and that works! Myorope just might be better in certain areas.

Final Word
Overall, I would definitely recommend Myorope to any of my clients of triathlete friends. It's innovative and really is able to target certain areas unlike tennis balls and foam rollers, with the added bonus that it rolls really easily and so on.

*I won't lie, when I first got my Myorope my boyfriend and I had a good laugh. The product looks similar to something else that exists in this world, just a lot bigger version of it. If you know what I'm saying, then get your mind out of the gutter ;) And, no, for the record, I don't have that undiscolsed "other" product!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Turkey Trot was super fun. Definitely not as cold as I was expecting nor did it rain like the rumors were saying, so I think the 12,000+ participants were happy. I had a great morning, except the ~45 min downtime in between the 10k and 5k standing in sweaty (thus freezing cold) clothes. I brought a change of clothes but didn't think I'd have time to change with all the chaos and getting back to the car blah blah, even though I did (oh well), then I dabbled with running in between to stay warm but didn't... never mind.

My 10k was a pleasant surprise; I PR'd (more on that in a few). The Dana Point Turkey Trot is a fun, flat run around Doheny Beach and Dana Point Harbor, and it seems they finally have it figured out so the whole race isn't just a giant traffic jam. Good amount of out and backs so you can watch all the other runners, you always see some entertaining stuff -- this year there was a Santa and reindeer ensemble of about 8-10 people roped together in uniform, jingling along. Uh, that does not sounds fun for 10k!

My mom was out their running too, and damn she's in the best running shape I've ever seen. Her current 10k PR before yesterday was 50+ minutes, which she shattered yesterday with a 47:xx (7:36 pace). Unbelievable! John was also out there running too and PR'd in the 10k as well as the 5k!

My 10k ended up being a PR too: a 42:48 and a sub-7 average pace, a first. From the get-go the legs were turning over nicely at a ~7:00 min pace. Heart rate was responding well too, and overall I just felt good, so I rolled with it (original goal was more of a 7:15 pace). I ended up negative-splitting into the 6:50s toward the end, and the HR went up a bit, but that still it didn't leave me trashed. Once I knew a sub-43 was possible there was no problem kicking it up a notch. The annoying thing was, when I crossed the finishline my Garmin had me at 6.15 miles or something. So a bit short on the course. Wish it had been a true 6.2. As such, average pace on my Garmin was a 6:59 pace, but the official race results will probably show a faster pace. Regardless, I'm still happy that I had that kind of speed in my legs.

For the 5k, after all that downtime and getting cold then trying to warmup in a jam-packed corral (not possible), my goal was to simply go 7:30s +/- 10 sec. More of a cooldown run with a lower HR. The 5k course ended up being a little long according to my Garmin (3.16 miles), go figure, and I finished in 23:30 or something.

After that we did the kid's 1-mile run. Loved the good vibes of that! Our 5-year-old that we ran with did a 11:55 mile, not too shabby!

Then it was onto the eating (after the post-run nap). Good times x2 :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trotting Along

I've recently starting ramping up the run miles again, and things are going along well. I enjoy running, and I'm OK at it, but not as good as I want to be/can be. So in 2012 one of main main goals is to become a better runner... get that discipline more up to par with my bike (yes, beth, your last comment was spot-on). Then maybe in 2013 then I can focus on becoming a swimmer ;)

Tomorrow I'll be getting in about 10+ miles of running before we feast. Doing a local Turkey Trot 10k and 5k (double whamy!)...oh and the 1-mile kid's race too, with a cute little 5-year-old I adore. I don't have any mega 10k/5k PR goals because I haven't been training for that kind of speed. The plan is to WU well then go hard-ish in the 10k (shoot for ~45 minutes), then the 5k will just be extra mileage filler. It might rain and that downtime between 10k and 5k might suck.

After trotting, it's on to TWO thanksgivings. Yikes! Wish me luck in the self-control department! I need to start thinking about losing those post-IM lbs I've put on. But tomorrow's not the day to worry about that, at least the runs will help ease the damage ;)

That's all I have for today. If you want to hear more from me, and you haven't checked out any of my Endurance Planet podcasts, now is the time... my "Ask the Ultrarunner" show with Lucho is going really well and is getting a great response from listeners. Here's this week's hour-plus episode full of good info!

And not to discount the other shows (because I love them all)... here are a couple other recents...

PS - Who else is getting in some killer T-day workouts?!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Coach For Me!

Yup, I finally made the move to hire a triathlon coach for myself. This is something I've wanted for a really long time, especially as a coach. I devote so much time to my athletes and their training plans -- thinking about them, writing them, talking about them with my athletes, etc., etc. -- then when it comes to me? I just sort of wing it based on what I know. It's worked alright so far. Thankfully I'm an intrinsically motivated person so it doesn't take much to get me to SBR.

But as a coach, I see the value in having a coach. I think it's important to have someone else's perspective on your training and racing. It provides an objective point of view that one's self can't fully achieve, and it's someone with whom you can collaborate. Not to mention a coach, at least a good coach, will also be part psychologist -- because we all know triathlon goes deeper than just swim, bike run -- among other roles.

There are lots of other deep, thoughtful reasons I could list on why it's great to have a coach and why I want one... but for time's sake, the bottom line is, yes, I do want someone else in charge of assessing my needs and goals, writing the plan, analyzing my data, giving feedback and so on in effort to get me faster. I'll worry about my athletes in the meantime! It's really a win-win for all parties involved :)

The thing is, I'm picky. Not surprising. I want someone who shares a similar philosophy and outlook on this job. He/she doesn't have to be exactly like me, but we can't but heads. I've had my feelers out for a while now, and I just haven't found that person. Then recently I started a new podcast over at Endurance Planet and was introduced to this guy. I knew of him, I've read his blog and was excited to start chatting with him on a regular basis. After recording a few episodes, the seed was planted... I had a good feeling that this guy might be the coach I've been looking for.

So I asked him.

And, now, I got me a coach -- Lucho!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What do John Lennon & I Have in Common?

I've been totally MIA lately, but that's because I'm working my buns off, enjoying good people in my life, taking naps, watching the sunset whenever it's not cloudy, etc :)

But you can expect to hear A LOT from me again in the future. I'm planning to start a new website and have lots of other stuff floating around in my head.

In the meantime, just wanted to share something that I hold true to my heart, and apparently I have this in common with John Lennon. The one thing I need in life, the thing that drives me, is HAPPINESS. What good is anything in life--sport, travel, relationship, job--if you're not happy?

That's why I do what I do.