A Runner’s Secret Weapons

One thing that I have learned is that runners do weird things. If we aren’t running, we are always doing something to help us recover from a run or preparing for our next run.

It’s a constant thing! And each and every runner has their own secret weapons for fast recovery and pain relief.

Working full-time and with a limited budget, I have to be pretty crafty with some of these methods. 

My top 4 secret weapons are…

1. Compression gear

I wear compression gear all the time. Yes, even at work! Today I am wearing my fabulous Pro Compression marathon socks underneath my boots (sneaky, I know!) Compression socks are made of strong elastic material and the pressure allows for the socks to constantly squeeze the leg muscles. This motion helps to drive blood back to the heart, reduce swelling in the feet and prevents blood clot formation. It alleviates any calf pain and allows for faster recovery after a long run. I love them, so I wear them after long runs (so sexy I know). If my quads are hurting, you will definitely find me in my Aspaeris Pivot Shorts which conveniently pair perfectly with pencil skirts!

2. Golf Ball

I am in no way shape or form a golfer (I’m even bad at putt-putt), but I do not know what I would do without this magical orange golf ball. After a run, sometimes the arches of my feet are dying. If you have ever had plantar fasciitis (which is just a fancy name for pain on the bottom of your foot), then you know how much it sucks. For some pain relief, you put the golf ball on the ground and gently roll your foot on top of the ball. This will stimulate blood flow and will break up any scar tissue you might have. It’s ideal when you are standing as you can get perfect pressure in the exact problem area. I am not even going to lie, I have been known to carry the wonderous orange golf ball in my purse and use it at my desk (very discreetly of course!)

3. Ice Cups

Is it bad to say that I would die without these? What is literally just a dixie cup filled with a chunk of ice has become a lifesaver to my shins. It’s cheap, easy, and effective. I fill the cups about 3/4 of the way full. Freeze them overnight and you have the perfect ice massage tool for your shin (or any part of your body that’s hurting!). Peel back the top of the cup to expose an inch of the ice. Rub it up and down your shins, peeling back the cup until the entire ice-cup is melted. I really love the ice cup because you can really push in (don’t go too hard!) into those hard to reach painful areas. These dotted dixie cups (aren’t they adorable?!) fill up half of my freezer. I prepare them in masses so that when I need one, they are there and ready for me!

4. Daily Vitamins

One important aspect of running is nutrition. Although I have been working hard on changing my diet to reach daily nutritional values (damn you happy hours!), I have known that I have needed a little boost. Enter a daily vitamin! There are many different vitamins that impact runners, their performance and their recovery time. I found Vitafusion MultiVites, and have loved them! They are gummy vitamins for adults (these people are genius!) and have the proper vitamin intake to help keep me healthy! Although nothing can replace a healthy diet, I really like the little added boost of taking a daily vitamin in the morning.

Important vitamins for runners include…

Vitamin A for healing of broken bones and is critical to the development and maintenance of healthy bones (Vitafusion = 50% Daily Value)

Vitamin B-6 for helping make red blood cells, normalize brain function, assisting in the body’s breaking down of protein and plays a role in fatty acid metabolism. (Vitafusion = 200% Daily Value)

Vitamin C for fighting free radical damage, reducing upper respiratory tract infections, and healing on the achilles tendon (Vitafusion = 50% Daily Value)

Vitamin D for speed, balance, reaction time, muscle mass and strength, as well lowering the risk of stress fractures and upper respiratory infections (Vitafusion = 200% Daily Value)

Vitamin E for lungs to absorb and safely remove polluting substances from your body, treatment of leg/foot cramps and restless leg syndrome (Vitafusion = 50% Daily Value)

What are your secret weapons for running? 

Mid-Week Music: Girlfriend by Phoenix

midnight countdown to 21!

This song was constantly playing in my house during the summer I turned 21.

It makes me nostalgic for The Cottage, friends, bonfires, porch dates…and turning 21.

If you don’t know Phoenix or their album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix then you are really missing out…

So basically you should be listening to it right now. And that’s an order! 

edit: From Dannica:  “ps kinda pissed i didn’t get a blog shoutout for mid-week music. Pheonix was our band! How could you betray me like that!!! you’ve broken my black heart” Shoutout to Dannica! 

Hey Portland, don’t miss Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO!

My mind is officially blown! Steven and I went to see Cirque Du Soleil’s show OVO on Saturday and I cannot stop talking about this show!

I’m pretty sure my new life goal is to be in one of these shows… (a girl can dream, right?!)

If you live in Portland (and have some excess funds) you have to go see OVO!

pre-show reception

I have always wanted to see a Cirque Du Soleil show, but it always seemed too expensive to go. They come to Portland every once and awhile, always with a new and exciting show and I have always envied everyone who has gone.

Luckily enough, I won two tickets to the show from my work as well as a pass to a swanky pre-show reception. Steven and I were definitely high-rollers that night!

 

my future job

I loved it so much that even just simple things seemed awesome to me. Just walking up to the tent (the “grand chapiteau”) is an experience. Set in the parking lot of the Portland Expo Center, it’s amazing to think that the giant yellow and blue swirled tent is temporary. It feels like almost like an illusion. Right away I saw a performer and knew I had to get a picture with her. Future co-workers right there!

 

This show has everything down to a beautiful artistic science, everything was flawless.

courtesy of Cirque Du Soliel

Cirque Du Soleil is known for their whimsy, and they definitely deliver it with OVO. OVO (which means egg in Portuguese) is about the wonderful world of insects. Each performer and performing groups matched a certain bug. You had twirling ants, acrobatic fleas, aerial flying scarabs and contortionist spiders. The tent is humid and smokey, which makes you feel like you have been transported into the jungle. The lights went dark and then the magic begins…

Each and every act was astounding. Poor Steven, I kept hitting his leg in excitement that I’m pretty sure he has bruise now. My favoritres include the scarabs on the swinging trapeze (I was so nervous, my palms were sweating) and the finale which included 20 performers who run, jump, and climb on a 26 foot wall (I can’t even explain how cool that was!).

courtesy of NataliePace.com

Even though it was one of the more simple performances, I really loved the ants. The six ants juggled oversized kiwi slices and corn with their feet in unison. And just to make it more fascinating (and to induce more “oh my gods” from me) they began juggling each other while continuing to juggle their over-size fruit. I loved how playful the act was and you could tell the performers were really enjoying the crowd’s feedback

The vibrancy of the lights, the costumes, and the ever-changing stage really added to each and every performance. The live music, which had Latin-inspired elements, is performed by The Cockroaches (haha, get it? Like The Beatles). It was all so engaging and so delightfully overwhelming that you couldn’t help but smile and dance along.

Before the show, there was no way I would spring $60+ for a ticket. But now, since having this wonderful experience, I know that it’s definitely worth it. From the spectacular performers to the costumes to the music to the grand chapiteau, Cirque Du Soleil transports you to a different world. And I promise it’s worth the price of admission…

I will be back Cirue Du Soleil, you have made me a fan! 

Happy Birthday Kian Paul!

(yes, my siblings have birthdays three days apart from one another! And my dad’s birthday  is in 4 days. April birthdays galore!)

My baby brother Kian turns 21 (oh my god) today!

With only two years difference, Kian and I did everything together! From pool parties to Barney videos, we were inseparable. I have also been terrorizing him since a young age (ask us about the bucket head incident sometime!) And now we live together… and I am still driving him crazy, but I’m pretty sure he still loves me.

Happy Birthday brother! It’s time to get our drink on!

such babies

such babies

Product Review: Bic Bands

I have desperately looked for something to keep my pesky hair out of my face during runs. I mean, I love having bangs… but they suck while running.

Let me introduce to you Bic Bands

Sandy from Bic Bands gifted me two headbands to test out for review.

cheesin'

The headbands were originally designed by  Sandy, who is a runner. Each headband is handmade and Bic Bands gives $1 from each band sold to a new charity each month (I mean, how awesome is that?!)

Right off the bat, I knew I was going to love them. Sandy sent me a black band and a pink sparkly band. My eyes are always drawn to something that sparkles!

(Every soccer game, my mom was always more worried about my ponytail then my performance. I am now a firm believer in looking fab as you sweat.)

 

The great thing I found about Bic Bands is that they actually don’t move. Like seriously, I have never adjusted my Bic Band during a run.

The inner lining is made of a smooth velvet-like material that doesn’t budge. I sometimes forget that I’m even wearing one…The headband itself is soft and stretchy, which means no post-wearing headaches! It’s like heaven on my head.

courtesy of Bic Bands

And I’m not even going to lie, I have worn the black Bic Band to work. Wear it with a low bun and it looks really cute and professional.

After looking through the Bic Bands website, I found a ton of headbands to choose from! From thick, thin, minnie, sparkles, animal print to reflective, you can find any style you want. I now want the sparkle silver and sparkle red (hint, hint!)

They are functional and cute, perfect for every runner!

Check out Bic Bands and let me know what you think!

Happy Birthday Miss Kara Lee!

such angels

My baby sister Kara is 17!

I literally cannot believe she is that old! I still remember the little girl with the big curls. Now she’s old (and tall!) with some fabulous straight hair.

Although Kara and I have a six year age gap, we share a love of many similar things. These important bonding elements include a love of Nordstrom, Ryan Gosling, and really cheesy chick flicks. No matter how much I love her though, I will never forgive her for falling asleep at a NSYNC concert… (I mean, come on, it’s the best boy band ever!)

Happy Birthday Schwees!

such babies

such love

Ta-Da! Life of Roya gets a makeover!

my graphic artist extraordinaire

One thing I have noticed about all the blogs I follow is that they all have a kick-ass header (the photo bar above). Every cool-kid blogger had a combination of graphics and photos that represent their blog and their personality.

I always just had a random photo from my Iran trip…

But now I have an awesome header!

Thanks to my amazing/wonderful/beautiful friend Dannica, I now have a cool-kid blog header!

Is it too early to pop some champagne?