Monday, June 20, 2016

Cool New Multi-Sport Activewear from Pearl Izumi


NEW Women's Pursuit Shirt & Escape Skort by Pearl Izumi 

Summer 2016 has some new designs from Pearl Izumi that crossover into many sports activities beyond running and cycling. Now while those are two of my favorite fitness pursuits, I'm often invited to engage in other sports, such as tennis and volleyball during summertime. So here are some new uses and reviews of Pearl Izumi's latest summer separates:


Women's Pursuit 4.5 Short. Hoka One One Vanquish 2 athletic shoes.

Women's Pursuit 4.5 Short
These are a bit shorter than what I usually run in but they were so cool and liberating, I'm not sure I'll ever go back to longer lengths. What I really like about these is the dry 4-way stretch fabric. The Pursuit Short has a Transfer Dry built in liner that negates the need for underwear. Has reflective accents and a wide, flattering waistband. Not sure if I would use the envelope back pocket for more than stashing a $5 bill but it's there. Shown in black here but also comes Aqua/Mint as shown below. Perfect for: Running, walking, cycling, tennis and more.



Pursuit 4.5 Short paired with Pursuit SS Shirt.
Women's Pursuit Short Sleeved Shirt
I paired the Pursuit 4.5 Short with the Pursuit Short Sleeved Shirt. This top is SUPER thin and lightweight, made with transfer dry fabric with Ice-fil treatment. Basically it allows for increased moisture transfer, helping to keep you dryer on hot, humid days. It also is designed to increase cooling.
The Pursuit Shirt has added visibility due to the reflective accents so early morning and night runs (when it's cooler) are totally doable. Daytime activities benefit from the 50+ UPF fabric. What I really like about this fabric is it's stain releasing. I got a smudge on the shoulder and it was very easy to remove. It's also color fast as the pigment stayed but the stain left.
I'd recommend the Pursuit Shirt for: running, walking, cycling, tennis and more. NOTE: Many private golf courses require appropriate attire, specifically a polo or a collared golf shirt as part of their dress code. To see the type of golf attire generally required at private clubs, visit this LINK.

Pursuit SS Shirt in Aqua Mint

Escape Skort
I own a lot of cycling skorts as they are some of my favorites for both on and off the bicycle. Some have removable chamois liners but others are built in. The ones that have the built in chamois are not comfortable to run in, especially for my average trip of 3.1 miles. The Escape Skort has a built in short tight made of Transfer Dry fabric. The waistband is super wide and very flattering. Just like the shorts, the Escape Skort has an internal waistband key pocket but its up front and a bit easier to access. The Escape Skort would work for: Running, Walking, Cycling, Tennis, Golf and much more. Once again all of these pieces could work for multiple sports and therefore be a great investment. See the entire SS2016 Activewear Collection online at Pearl Izumi


Escape Skort in Black
Sports Accessories
Athletic Shoes: I've paired these outfits with my Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Shoes. These perform well on both gravel packed trails and roadways. In fact, they are what I run races in on the streets of NYC which are predominantly paved roadways. They also would work well on similarly paved running tracks and tennis courts. Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Shoes are available online and at Amazon.com.


Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Shoes

Sun Visor: I always wear a little baseball cap when I run just to keep the sun out of my eyes. Along with my sports sunglasses, I've added the new Scunci Sporty Visor Headwrap to my runs and outdoor activities. Has a soft, wide headband built into to visor. Unlike a full baseball cap. allows heat and sweat to escape from the top of your head. Also helps to keep hair up and off the back of your neck. Perfect for running, tennis, volleyball and more!

Sunscreen: This season I am really liking the following NEWLY RELEASED sun products for their light application and staying power: Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, Sun Bum Coconut SPF 30 Lip Balm and Burt's Bee's BB Cream SPF 15 with Noni Extract. All are available at your local drugstore or online at Target.



Sportswear pieces c/o Pearl Izumi. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for which I receive a small commission however the reviews and opinions are strictly my own.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Vacation: Packing A Bicycle for Your Destination

Bikes on Boats and other vacation destinations.
May is Bike Month and Bike to Work Week. While this month has focused much on commuter cyclists, summer is on the way and perhaps time to consider ways to take your wheels on vacation. In fact with a little advanced planning, you may be able to use bicycle power to see the sights at your get-away destination. Cycling is also a great way to stay fit and exercise while on vacation so you can accomplish two objectives in one: transportation and aerobic fitness. Here are a few tips and tricks taken from my many vacation travels by land and by sea:


Paddle-boarding with a Hobie Mirage sailboat in the background.

Bikes on Boats
The June Edition of Sail Magazine has a very good article entitled Bikes on Boats by Brian Flanagan. While I applaud Brian for tackling this sometimes tricky subject with aplomb, I can add a few more useful suggestions. First of all Brian shows how to break down a full sized bicycle. My experience is that when you are on vacation, anything that even smacks of tedious work is going to tank. When I sailed to Nantucket during my tour of New England a few years back, I noticed that the local ferry was large enough to accommodate full sized bicycles (beach cruisers even) as many people had them aboard. 


Check to see if your vacay destination has bike rentals available.

Once we arrived on Nantucket Island, there was a bicycle rental depot available. My point? Check ahead to see what your vacation spot has to offer. You may be able to rent rather than pack a bicycle for your trip.


Folding bike on the Hudson at Chelsea Piers, NYC.

Folding Bicycles Make Great Vacation Rides
Another alternative to a full sized bicycle is a "foldy" or folding bicycle. I covered bringing my own folding bicycle vs renting a CitiBike to tour NYC which you may read HERE. A folding bicycle such as the 27 lb Greenzone lightweight aluminum alloy model shown above at Chelsea Piers, NYC is perfect for boarding smaller crafts and sailboats. My folding bike came with a zippered carry bag, compact enough to stow below or in the ship's cockpit locker. 


Boarding for a sail with a Brompton English folding bike. 

So to travel with either a folding bicycle or full sized model, be sure to pack it in a soft shell carry bag such as the one shown below. A soft or cloth bike bag takes up much less space and is more easily packed in small storage spaces such as those found on board sailboats and other water-craft. 



Greenzone Folding Bike has a built in bag rack.

You can also store a bicycle chain, wet wipes and a helmet with the bicycle, keeping everything together in one place. To see more Green Zone Folding Bicycle models, visit online.

An example of a soft shelled bicycle bag.
Scooting the Issue
Another cool idea is to bring along a folding kick scooter. These are even smaller, hence easier to pack and carry. I've even taken them on the Greenway along Hudson River Park. The best are the Razor Scooters which fold down very flat and work well on paved roadways as well as sidewalks. Once again they are space-friendly alternatives to full sized bicycles and offer a fun way to get around your ports of call. I've even gone shopping with an adult kick scooter, placing my tote bag on the handlebars. Since there is no storage, plan your day's travel with a backpack. Visit NYCe Wheels, NYC online for a full selection of folding bicycles and scooters.


Razor A5 Adult Kick Scooter




Xooter Adult Kick Scooter has larger wheels.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Posturing for Success Opedix Blade Tec Shirt and & Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Shoes

Opedix Women's Blade Tec 2.0 and Hoka Vanquish 2 Women's Road Shoes
Now that Marathon season is officially underway, I am testing new gear this spring to help give me an edge out on the road. I recently took a run in some very high tech compression tights by Opedix and you can read my full review HERE
I promised you a review of the tights' counterpart top, the Blade Tec 2.0 V-Neck. So here we go:

More/Shape Women's Half Marathon in Central Park
Why Posture Counts
Our posture is very important not only in weight training (which I think the Blade Tec Top is perfect for by the way) but also for running. Why? Well, if your posture is poor, your lungs are not going to be able to inflate and expand to maximum capacity. That means much less oxygen uptake when you need it the most.

Opedix Blade Tec helps align muscles for optimum posture

The Opedix Blade Tec Shirt acts like an active exoskeleton in helping to keep your muscles aligned for perfect running posture. I found this top to be pretty easy to get on as compression-wear goes. It is cool and comfortable as I was running in 70 degree weather. The material has good wicking action but did get a bit steamy under the arms. The best part is the silicon elastic along the bottom of the shirt. It stayed in place for my entire run which is almost unheard of. No need to pull down or adjust, as the back of the shirt is made a little longer than the front. 

Opedix Blade Tec Shirt is quick drying.

Easy to wash and quick drying, this shirt looks and feels great, giving you a gentle reminder to stand up straight. I really like the V-neck styling as this shirt looks great as well as being functional. See all the Opedix Kinetic Health Gear online at Opedix.com

Fun in the sun in the Opedix Blade Tec 2.0.
Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Shoes
I ran a lot of miles including quite a few races last year in my Hoka One One Vanquish Shoes. So I am familiar with this style and what it can do on both hard roadways and graveled trails. I have to say that the Vanquish 2 does well on packed gravel trails - my primary running terrain. They are super comfortable and I've not had a problem with painful joints or achilles tendons as when I tried a barefoot style of running shoe. You can read about that "barefoot" experience HERE.

Hoka One One's Vanquish 2's
Vanquish 2's Of course you will have to try a few different brands to see what works for you specifically. I used to wear Reebok fitness shoes especially at the gym and for aerobic's classes. However, they didn't seem to be the best shoe for running. So brand loyalty shouldn't prevent you from experimenting to find the best shoe for the job. Hoka's are known for their uber thick soles which to someone transitioning from thinner ones may feel like running in platforms! I personally didn't feel quite that way. In fact I've seen my times and fitness levels improve quickly running in Hokas.

Hokas + Opedix Compression Tights

Getting the Right Fit
I find that the Hoka One One collection runs true to size. I usually wear low profile wool blend running socks so the best thing is to take the socks you run in to the store with you. This will give you a better idea of how the shoes will fit and be less of a break in. This also includes any additional orthodics or innersoles, if any, used in your current shoes. Hokas are made to optimize the best running posture which is striking heel first. Studies have shown that women who run that way have almost no soft tissue injuries or shin splints as opposed to striking the ball of the foot first. I've made this conscious adjustment and have found it to be less stressful overall.

Race Day for me means wearing a pair of running shoes 1/2 size larger than usual. This is because while running, your feet naturally swell a bit. You also may be wearing a slightly thicker sock to go the distance so having a little extra room in the foot bed is going to mean less stress on your feet and toenails (be sure to give them a trim before racing). Check out all of the current Hoka One One athletic shoes online at HokaOneOne.com