Why use compression running
Why use compression sleeves or socks?

Many people have asked, if “compression socks or sleeves really work”?

The short answer is yes and no.

Before the running boom, compression socks were used by diabetics and airplane pilots.  Now, you can’t go to a race without seeing runners of all abilities wearing them (myself included!).Why use compression running

So if “everyone” is wearing them, there must benefits, right?

Most of the benefits in studies have been mental versus fitness gain.  Running is 80% mental anyway. Personally, while wearing compression my legs feel better during and after runs.

So what are some benefits of Compression? 

Recover Faster:

Compression promotes blood flow and in turn accelerates the removal of metabolic waste.  In short, it encourages blood flow with oxygen and nutrients to muscles faster.  As someone who deals a lot of with calve tightness, I’ve found that compression helps to speed up recovery after a hard workout or race. 

Stabilize:

If you’ve ever had issues with needing stabilization (for instance a rolled ankle), compression can help stabilize tendons and ligaments.  A few years ago, when I rolled my ankle, I used the CEP compression ankle sleeve. 

What to Keep in Mind:

There are a few things to keep in mind though, and not every compression sock brand is the same.  Some are just glorified tube socks.  The average quality set of compression sleeves cost about $40, while the average sock is about $60.  I personally have had the most success with CEP compression (they aren’t paying me to tell you that).

Socks or Sleeves?

If you aren’t having foot pain and issues, I highly recommend the sleeves versus socks. It can be tough to get a perfect fit between a calf size and foot size. For instance, my feet don’t match up because my calves are size 3 and my feet are women’s size 10-11!  Plus with the sleeves, you can use your own socks or if you feel like you need a pair of compression socks, purchase the right foot size. 

Look for Medical Grade:

You want to look for a brand that uses “Medical Grade Compression.” Medical Grade Compression is designed to promote and target blood flow. Typically colors are more boring and aren’t on sale every 10 minutes.

Medical grade compression comes in several different levels of compression:

  • Mild (8-15 mmHg)
  • Medium (15-20 mmHg)
  • Firm (20-30 mmHg)
  • X-Firm (30-40 mmHg)

Most runners don’t need anything more than medium or firm.

Get Measured:

The last thing to remember is to get measured. If you need a size 11 and are wearing a size IV, then you probably won’t feel much of the benefit. You want to measure the widest part of your calve.  Keep in mind to measure both, as many people’s calves (and feet) are two different sizes. Compression socks should fit snug. They should be tight enough to leave small impressions from the fabric, but they shouldn’t ever be painful.  The first time you put a pair on, it should challenge you.

Finally, When to Wear Them:

There are no rules about when to wear compression socks. Many runners like myself, wear them while running to increase circulation. Others use compression after a workout or run. If you are having shin and calve issues, wear them during a run or workout, as well as after.  (Don’t wear them 24-7 though, your feet need time to breath). If you’re using them for recovery, use them post run.  The beauty is, you can experiment is figure out when feels the best to you.

underarmour killington 25k

Question for you: Do you wear compression?  Socks or sleeves?

me medford turkey trot running
Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Every year, the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot is one of my favorite races. I always enjoy the sense of community with local friends on Thanksgiving morning. The race itself is well put together and in one of my favorite areas which is why I continue to choose to run each year. This year was my slowest time by about 90 seconds but I had just as much fun as usual.

I knew the morning of, the race wasn’t going to be my best.  My husband and I walked over 10 miles around NYC the few days prior and my legs felt like garbage. Not in the garbage that they would magically get better but like garbage. Plus it was 23 degrees with a feels like temperature much lower.

me medford turkey trot running
Photos via Simply Photography

Getting to the race and parking is always easy. My husband and I warmed up and then sat in our car until 8:28 am. It was 23 degrees, and I was cold. Not the best prerace strategy but my body was not ready for the dip in temperature.  I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve raced in both pants and long sleeves.

We arrived at the start, and I chatted for a couple of people. Then we were off! Turkey Trots are always fun because people go out fast. For some, it’s their only race of the year. There are also lots of young kids, who run fast and then realize it’ more than a half mile race. Like usual that’s what happened. Around then, I found myself as second woman overall because I also took it out too fast for my fitness right now.

I hit the first mile in 6:30 and my calves were tight. They weren’t engaging and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace. It’s hard not to compare considering I have run half marathons faster, but I was the opposite of tapered.

The next mile was lonely, and I was passed by a few friends and women. My second mile was 6:47 and one of my slowest 5k miles in a long time. At the end of mile 2, I was the fourth woman.

The last mile was just a struggle bus to get to the end. I wasn’t sad, but just stiff. I knew it wasn’t my day.

We pass the local school around 2.75. After running for a few years, it’s always that point I want to be done.

We rounded the corner and I crossed the finish in 20:24. My personal turkey trot worst but still an enjoyable time.

me medford turkey trot running

After not running for 2 weeks, then walking in NY, I didn’t expect it to be in the 18:30-19:05 range where I’ve been previous years.

I’m happy to get shorter stuff on my legs and looking forward to getting back into running after the marathon.

Questions for you:

Did you run a Turkey Trot?

What is the coldest you’ve run in?

me running central park
Training: Base Building

Last week began my “comeback” to running.  While I’m still not sure what I’m training for, I probably won’t make any decisions until 2019.  The rest of the year will be just consistently getting mileage in.  I hope I’ll be able to race more, but it will be weather dependent. I’ll race in the cold, but I won’t in icy conditions (something we definitely got last winter).

Monday: 10ish mile walk around New York City
Tuesday: 60 minute run in Central Park/Walking Around NYC
Wednesday: 6 mile run easy/ART with Dr. Trish
Thursday: Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24) Total miles: 8ish
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 10 miles with 6 at 7:11

As mentioned, the goal for the next few weeks is consistency.  I plan to do workouts and race, but I don’t have any “big goals” right now. While I enjoyed marathon training more than I have previously, I have running missed shorter distances.  I want to consistently get back under 19 minutes in a 5k.

On Tuesday I got to run in Central Park. I’ve never run in Central Park outside of the marathon so it was cool to run in the park for a relaxing run.  I knew it was hilly, but I didn’t realize it was that hilly!

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot: 20:24

While it’s a Turkey Trot personal worst, I had a lot of fun. After getting active release the day before, my legs were sore.  I knew they weren’t going to be magically better while racing and it was what it was.  Combined with walking more than I have in a long time, I just felt stiff.  Immediately into the race, I knew it wasn’t my day.  I ended up finishing 4th woman and in 20:24.  While I know my legs can move faster, Thanksgiving wasn’t the day.  It was nice to get a shorter race in though and enjoy Thanksgiving morning with friends.

Friday and Saturday were both easy.

Sunday Tempo: 10 miles with 7 averaging 7:11

The goal was to go out for a longer run and see how my legs felt.  I didn’t have a specific time goal in mind for the tempo, just to get some faster miles in. The tempo itself didn’t feel like I was overexerting myself, but it did feel challenging.  I’m looking forward to consistently getting more tempos in.  They have been my favorite workout for a while, and I always appreciate how strong I feel afterward.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqnB9wYFMUu/

It’s hard to remember what it was like doing these runs both longer and faster but that is the beauty of fitness. I’m just glad to get back into it.

Posts from the Week:

Exploring Sandy Hook

Questions for you:

Do you prefer shorter or longer distances?

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Times square diner NYC
Times Square Diner and Grill (NYC)

Times Square Diner (NYC)

Recently I stopped at the Times Square Diner in NYC. Initially, I had anticipated it was in Times Square and would be busy, but it’s a couple of blocks over on 807 8th Avenue (Between W 48th & 49th St.).

Times square diner NYC

Times Square Diner Atmosphere: B
The Times Square Diner has a small sign out front, but it doesn’t stand out on the street.

For a diner in NYC, the inside has plenty of space. You aren’t sitting on top of anyone.  There are several booths, a few tables, and a full-length bar. It’s surprising how big the Times Square Diner is!

Times Square Diner Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but nothing unusual or unique. I could have used more refills, but it was decent coffee.

Times square diner NYC

Times Square Diner Food: B
The Times Square Diner has a lot more healthy options than a typical diner. There are many different salads as well as wraps and sandwiches. They have the usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, but if you are looking for a healthy choice, they have that too.

At The Times Square Diner, I ordered the Greek appetizer which came with pita bread and tzatziki sauce. The pita bread and tzatziki sauce were both excellent. I dare say the pita bread was some of the best I’ve had.

Times square diner NYC

Since the Times Square Diner had so many healthy options, I decided to order the beet salad. There were plenty of beets as well as goat cheese, but I could have used more salad. The beets and the steak were good, but it needed more salad.

Times square diner NYC

I like salad greens, and the trend of salads without the greens (maybe it’s an East Coast thing?) is not my favorite.  In short, the salad was good, but I needed more.

Times Square Diner Service: C
The server at the Times Square Diner was friendly, and the food came out quickly. After our meal, it took a long time for the check to come. We needed to go but waited entirely too long despite asking several times.  I think I waited longer for the check than the meal.

Cost: $$
For the coffee, appetizer, and salad, it was $24.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Times Square Diner (NYC)? 
I liked my meal at the Times Square Diner (NYC), and it was a good stop. I am disappointed in the service though.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: C
Cost: $15-25
Overall: B

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
How do you prefer your steak?
Do you like beets?

New Maple Hill Restaurant Maple Shade
The New Maple Hill Restaurant (Maple Shade)

New Maple Hill Restaurant (Maple Shade, NJ)

Recently I went to the New Maple Hill Restaurant in Maple Shade, NJ. Until recently I didn’t even know the New Maple Hill Restaurant existed. While it doesn’t have the name, diner, in it, the New Maple Hill Restaurant is a diner.

New Maple Hill Restaurant Atmosphere: B
When I arrived around dinner time, the New Maple Hill Restaurant wasn’t too busy. The outside is a cute, building with hanging lights. It reminds me of walking into a house versus a restaurant.

The inside has a small bar and a couple of rooms. It does echo, and you can hear every person’s conversation in the diner.

New Maple Hill Restaurant Coffee: B
The coffee was good and brewed hot and fresh. It wasn’t anything unusual, but it was good.

New Maple Hill Restaurant Maple Shade Coffee

New Maple Hill Restaurant Food: F
The New Maple Hill Restaurant menu has plenty of options from all-day breakfast, sandwiches, and dinner options.  Anything on a typical diner menu, you can find at the Maple Hill Restaurant but you won’t find anything unique or special. It’s got an average menu.

New Maple Hill Restaurant Maple Shade

I decided to order off their specials menu: Pumpkin Pancakes with whipped cream! When they came out, nothing about them was good. They didn’t look appetizing, and they were paper thin. It was shocking they were a special because I could have cooked better pancakes myself.  I found myself hungry afterward.

New Maple Hill Restaurant Maple Shade

New Maple Hill Restaurant Service: B
Our waitress was friendly and friendly but came around. We could have used more drink refills.  At least our food came out relatively quickly.

Cost: $
For the pumpkin pancakes and coffee, the cost was $10. It was not worth it in the slightest.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to New Maple Hill Restaurant in Maple Shade?

I didn’t enjoy my food. If I go come back, I would definitely order something else.  I was fairly disappointed in the New Maple Hill Restaurant in Maple Shade. Hopefully, I just hit it on a bad day.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: F
Service: B
Cost: $6-10
Overall: C

You can see all 219 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of pancakes?
What is the most disappointing meal you’ve had recently?

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