AMPLA Fly Your Run

HOLD THE PHONE, I’ve been running.  I know, I know.  How long have I been talking about getting my butt in gear?  Well, I’m doing it.  I’ve been running 3-4 times a week most of the summer.  I’m still only doing two miles each run and I’m having a really hard time getting past that.  I don’t know if it’s the heat, fear, or what.  Last spring, I ran a half marathon with barely any training, and the little running I was doing was just once a week!

You’d think since I’m keeping my distance the same, my speed would be improving.  Unfortunately, that’s not either.  But… I keep running!  For my excuses, I’m going to use the heat and a massive hill at the beginning of my run.  No, not to make excuses or anything, but I do think those factors play a role.  I run as early as I possibly can (accounting for William) and pretty much the first mile of my run is uphill with a giant hill right at the beginning.  It’s hard.  Though it is amazing on the mile run (mostly) downhill on the way back.

running ampla

While I’m frustrated my speed is not improving, I think my distance would / could improve if I just went for it.  It’d be nice if I had a running partner to push me.  (Any takers??)  At least I’m running consistently again; that feels good to me.

Recently I had the chance to try out a brand new running shoe – AMPLA.  New gear always makes running / working out more fun, so I was excited to give these guys a go.  My initial thought is that they are VERY springy!  They feel good to run in and have some distinct characteristics about them.  Ampla has quickly become a trailblazer of “firsts” both in design and business strategy.

Design
  • Full length carbon fibre Forcepower plate that guides foot strike and releases stored energy at toe-off
  • Actively uses a runner’s natural force during foot strike
  • Lightweight cushioning and a seam free Diamond mesh with micro-suede upper
Direct to Consumer Business Model
  • First premium shoe to implement a 100% direct to consumer model
  • No added marketing or sales commissions padding the price
  • Free returns within 30 days, no questions asked

ampla shoe

You can watch this video to learn more about these Ampla Fly Carbon Fiber Plated Shoes.  It features Harvard trained sports scientist, Dr. Marcus Elliot who talks about giving runners a mechanical advantage and getting some free energy based on the design of the shoe.  (Hey, I’ll always take free energy while running!)  The feel of them remind me of Newton’s, how the heel is elevated because of the toe box causing them to feel springy.  On me, these shoes come up a little higher than my other running shoes in the back.  It’s not a big deal, I just wear higher socks.

For additional reading material, check out how Sports Illustrated highlighted Ampla in their latest issue.  Read HERE.  The article discusses how these shoes can help correct running gait.

stop not running right

stop not running right // appropriate motto to support Ampla’s philosophy

What’s your favorite brand of running shoes?  Have you tried Ampla before?

*Disclaimer: I was provided this pair of running shoes free of charge in exchange of my honest review.  No compensation was provided. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

summer running has begun!

It’s official, summer running has begun!  Just writing the word “summer” makes me so happy.  I love love love teaching, but I also love love love summer!  (Can you blame me?!)  My last day of school was last week, and William’s school celebrated his last day with a picnic.  Of course Yaya and Audrey joined us to make it even better!

picnic yaya audrey

Do you spy those Mamma Chia squeeze pouches in the kids’ lunches?  I received an AMAZING package from them and will be giving away the very same package in the near future – it was loaded with Mamma Chia goodness! Stay tuned!

William couldn’t finish his lunch fast enough before he got to play.  There was “fishing” (in a kiddie pool with magnetic fishing poles and fish), swinging, throwing, catching, running, and more.  There was also a special visit from an ice cream truck!  I got a vanilla ice cream cone for William because I know he likes those.  Big mistake!  Audrey got some character popsicle thing (disgusting, in my opinion lol), and William HAD to have the exact same thing…

ice cream aud may16

Lesson learned, Mom.  About 12 licks later, he was over it anyway.

Last week, it seemed to rain just about everyday, so when the sun was shining this weekend, we made sure to soak up every second!  We went on lots of walks, runs, and bike rides.  If William wants to run, he gives me Zoey’s leash to hold.  Well on Saturday he wanted momma to run, so he held Zoey while I trotted along in front.

running zo may16

William seriously LOVES to run (maybe all toddlers do??), and that makes me so happy!  Something that doesn’t make me happy is a stinky dog.  Whenever I wash my bed sheets, I always give Zoey a bath.  I figure that everything / everyone can be clean at least for a day.  William likes to help me give Zoey a bath.  When we’re finished, I bundle up Zoey like a baby in the towel, and last time William wanted to hold her for the first time.  He did a great job and thought it was hilarious, so I had to snap a picture!

zoey bath

linking up with katie and erin

And my own summer running has begun, as well.  I know I always talk about wanting to get back into running, but I’m so constrained by time.  This summer, I should be able to run four times a week – that’s my goal.  It might shift into different workouts, but right now I really want to build up my endurance and speed because that is long gone.  Come on muscle memory, where are ya?!  So this weekend, I pounded out two miles on BOTH Saturday and Sunday!

running selfie

They were slow, but I made it through!  Hey, it’s a start!  Now I’ve got to make my racing calendar for the summer!

Who ran this weekend? What are your summer racing plans?

True Runner Spring Gear-Up Event

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and True Runner.  All opinions are my own.

Celebrate rising temperatures and the start of running season with True Runner as they are hosting their annual Spring Gear-Up event on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th!

true runner

This couldn’t be any better timing for me.  I’ve only gotten in a handful of runs since the weather has been decent.  I’m more than ready to kick-off this running season with people who are just as excited as me.

The event begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th at their Brentwood location.  True Runner and HOKA ONE ONE are hosting a FREE Fun Run Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.  Meet at the store for a 4-5 mile group run demoing the latest running shoes from HOKA.  All paces and abilities are welcome.

Fun Run

What will be at the True Runner Spring Gear-Up Event?

  • Photo booth
  • Face painting
  • Price wheel
  • Nutrition sampling
  • Brand reps

Spin-to-Win Cropped

You’ll be able to spin the wheel for a chance to win prizes from top brands.  Brand reps will be on-site offering product expertise and demos.  You’re encouraged to share your picture from the photo booth and your “Why I Run” story on social media for a chance to win great prizes!

SGU Collage

And the best part?  I’ll be there! 😉

While it’s a two day event, I’m planning on going on Saturday morning.  But who knows, I may just have so much fun and come back for more on Sunday!

true runner

True Runner carries a range of shoes, apparel, and gear to support your running needs and help you achieve your needs.  It’s created for runners, by runners.  They get it.  It’s more than just a specialty running store, it’s a community.  I hope to see LOTS of you on Saturday!

For more details about the True Runner Spring Gear-Up Event, click HERE.

Has your running season started yet?  Did it ever end?  Already signed up for any races?

running happy

Two questions: How is today October first already and why is it only Thursday?  Seriously!  In nine more days, my baby will be 18 months – a year and a half!  That’s crazy!  I told my little brother Justin that William was almost 18 months and he asked if I’m going to be “one of those moms” that always says the number of months when asked his age forever.  Like 42 months or something ridiculous like that.  Haha.  I think once he’s two, I’ll stop.  Speaking of my adorable little almost 18 month old:

happy 18months

I love him!

18months

And he loves his momma!

Where is Friday?  This has been a long week as we’ve had Parent – Teacher Conferences.  They’ve all gone well, it just makes for a long week, since I get to school early and stay late.  But hey, at least tomorrow is Friday, and I’ve got an awesome weekend planned.  I’m rappelling on Saturday and zip lining on Sunday.

Now let’s talk running.  I’ve been running once a week, and have been slowly increasing my mileage, as well.  Last Sunday, I pounded out 6 miles in my new Mizuno shoes that I received through a FitFluential campaign.  They’re almost available for purchase!  (early – mid October and you can grab your own pair!)

6miles

Usually I wouldn’t take brand new shoes out for more than a couple miles for the first time in case they weren’t comfortable, but I trust Mizuno and have several pairs.  I was right – they were just fine and super comfortable!  I need a supportive shoe when I run as I have high arches, and the new Mizuno Wave Inspire 12’s are perfect!  Sometimes supportive shoes can feel heavy, but these are very lightweight!

waveinspire12

New features of the Wave Inspire 12:

  • Improved upper has a supportive design for a soft-yet-structural fit.
  • Increased blown rubber in the forefoot for improved durability and softness.
  • Redesigned, U4ic midsole platform provides more ground contact and a softer touch down.

Running has been awesome lately.  I’ve written many times before how I’ve been struggling to find my legs again after my long three year hiatus.  When I stopped running prior to getting pregnant, I was in the best running shape I’d ever been in, and I’m nowhere close to that point right now.  However, I am in a good place with running.  Every run isn’t a huge struggle, though it continues to challenge me, both physically and mentally.  My mileage is building and my pace is… well, that’s the part where I’m still really working.  I’m hitting under ten minute miles, but just barely.  I also wish I was able to run more than once a week, but right now it is what it is and I’m grateful to run when I can.  I’m running happy, indeed!

running

What makes you run happy?

Please consider making a donation to the Special Olympics! Thank you!

busy weekend

This was a busy, busy weekend.  It was a good weekend, just crazy busy.  As I sit here on Sunday evening, I’ve got the laundry finishing up, William’s lunch is packed for tomorrow, and I’ve got a bowl of Ted Drewes Reese’s frozen custard beside me.  I don’t have a ton of pictures from the weekend, just a few snapshots.

By Friday evening I was wiped from my first work week and crashed hard.  William, of course, was up bright and early on Saturday.  One of my friends / coworkers got married over the weekend.  It was a beautiful ceremony and reception; both venues were new to me and absolutely gorgeous.  The bride was stunning and we all had a lot of fun being together outside of work.

wedding

I wore my bridesmaid’s dress from Justin and Dana’s wedding, and was happy to wear it again.  That doesn’t happen often with bridesmaids dresses.

Sunday was super busy.  I realize now my weekend up until this point doesn’t even sound that busy, but it sure felt like it was haha.  William and I visited with my parents on Sunday morning and I did some meal prep for the week.  Then, I went to the park for a run and bike ride.  The next sprint triathlon I am doing is this coming weekend and I’ve done less training for this than my last one, so I was happy to put in some work yesterday, despite the fact that temperatures topped 90 and the good ole St. Louis humidity was rocking.  I ran with a friend of mine which definitely pushed me faster than if I were on my own.  My goal these days (being pretty out of shape and all) is to get under ten-minute miles.  And you better believe me when I say I started walking the second my Garmin beeped at three miles.

threemiles

I was so unbelievably hot and sweaty after.

run park

Couldn’t even think of a better pose to do than just stand there (and try not to die).  Then we decided to go on a quick bike ride after.  It wasn’t long due to some time constraints, but at least I trained two sports at once finally.  Next weekend should be interesting.  I’m banking on the fact that the swim is only 300 instead of 400…

Linking up with Katie and Erin.

After the workout, William and I picked up Audrey and headed to the pool.  It was a bummer because the baby pool was closed.  It made the pool more challenging than relaxing with the two of them, but I was still happy to be enjoying the summer weather.  They were both so busy at the pool that I couldn’t take any pictures since I obviously had a to keep a very close eye on them.  They (and me) were exhausted after, so we came home and ate dinner immediately.  Baked chicken for William, macaroni and cheese for Audrey, and Chipotle for me. 🙂

I plopped the two of them in the bathtub to scrub them clean and let them play.

aud bath

Audrey loooooves taking care of her baby William.  She wants to help with everything.  Washing his hair, his back, his legs, his toesies, drying him, getting his diaper on, picking out his pajamas… literally everything.  Last night she actually said, “I wish I could just keep William forever!”  I hope that love never changes.

That’s it.  Writing out my whole weekend definitely made it seem like I was not as busy as I felt, but man oh man I felt like we were.  No slowing down now, off to start the work week, my first full one.  Let’s hope it’s a good one!

Did you have a busy weekend?  What was the best part?

end of summer weekend

…And just like that, summer is coming to an end!  So, not officially, but for me as school starts back again soon,my summer is coming to an end.  Teacher meetings start this week (why so soon?!?!) and kiddos come next week.  That made this the end of summer weekend – good thing it was a fun one!

Friday morning started with a three mile run.

run selfie

Followed by a selfie.  I was smiling in the picture, but it was a tough run.

Saturday morning also included a run, this time around the lake…

run lake

…while somebody slept for the majority of the time!

He was probably tired from all the work he did earlier…

chair

Busy baby!

Linking up with Katie and Erin!

Saturday night was a night out at the baseball game.

cards game

Cardinals didn’t bring home a winner, but it was fun nonetheless.

Sunday was a very busy day.  It started off with a visit from my friend Diana and her baby Emily who live in the neighborhood.  Sweet babies.

emily july15

Then we headed to my parents’ for breakfast as our family friend was in town (Hi Howard!).  Straight from there, we went to a first birthday party.  William took a short nap when we came home, and we got ready for the pool.  We spent a solid three hours there.  William LOVES the water.  He took one short snack break, rocked his Babiators, and ate an Earth’s Best pouch.  Back in the water for the little fish!

babiators pool

He was exhausted by the time we got home, so I quickly fed him dinner, bathed him, and into bed he went!  Now I’m off to enjoy our last few days of summer…

What did you do this weekend?

best race photo ever

How many of you generally like your race photos when you see them?  Not me.  I feel like they’re usually super awkward.  Eyes half closed, arms in awkward positions, legs confirming that I don’t have perfect form, and what is going on with my face?  Am I about to sneeze?  Am I in pain?  Oy.  Race photos are usually less than flattering.  When I was racing more frequently, I would at least attempt to get a semi-decent picture at the finish line by throwing my hands up in the air.  Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn’t.

Anyway, as you know, during the All American 5K this past weekend, it rained the entire time.  Poured.  My sister and I (and every other runner out there) were drenched.  When we saw the finish line in the near distance, we were stoked.  Yes, that meant the race was concluding, but more importantly because it meant we could get under some shelter, dry off, and eventually shower and get out of our sopping wet clothes that were hanging off us due to them being so wet.  When I was crossing the finish line, I threw my hands in the air and smiled like I just won the race…

itzlinz 5k race photo

[photo credit]

…which I didn’t, of course, but you can’t really tell that from the picture.  Stephanie was cracking up in the background.  I love the picture.  I love it because it shows what running should be all about: FUN!  Sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers that it’s hard to remember that running and races, while good exercise and very healthy for our bodies, is fun!  While I’ve tried to have this pose captured in other races, they’ve never been caught like this one.  Pure joy!

And since it’s Thursday, I’m linking up with Amanda to do some thinking out loud…

I attended a BodyPump class yesterday.

It’s such a good workout.  Pre-baby I used to lift weights all the time, but now BodyPump is definitely the best weight lifting routine I do.  I wish I could go multiple times a week, but when I do have time to workout, I’ve been dedicating it to running, biking, or swimming in preparation for my upcoming triathlon.

No shame in taking selfies either!  Especially after reading THIS POST!

You can see in that picture how bad my roots were.  Luckily, I was able to get into Preston Salon yesterday, and Zac fixed me right up.

audrey

I swung by my sister’s after the salon as it was on the way to the nail shop.  I asked Audrey if she wanted to come get her nails done with me, and of course she said yes.  So we had a little day date.  I love my mini-me.

And how about this guy? Teething monster, but always a #ladiesman!

ladiesman

Are you usually happy with your race photos? Do you try to pose for the camera?

All American 5K | American Flag Tank

I love love love that I’m back into running again, particularly racing.  It’s so much fun, and I adore the atmosphere of race day bursting with excitement from all sorts of runners.  That’s yet another reason I love running and racing – the community.  It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, how big or thin you are, how fast or not you are.  If you run, if you signed up for the race, if you’re there at the starting line, you’re a runner!  Sometimes races can intimidate people, but don’t let it!  Every race I’ve been to has been full of supportive people cheering each other on with one similar goal – to cross the finish line.

Sure, some people are faster than others and race to compete, but that’s the nature of the sport.  You can be as ambitious as you want.  You can try to achieve a PR (personal record), you can try to place, or you can aim to finish. No matter what, we’re all running the same race!  That’s my take on it anyway.

My sister Stephanie and I ran the All American 5K in St. Louis this past weekend.  I ran as a Chipotle runner, and like I always do, I set out my outfit the night before.

A few weeks ago, someone from Tipsy Elves reached out asking to provide me with some of their new patriotic gear for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. You’ve probably heard of Tipsy Elves before.  Their brand and products were first featured on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank in 2013 and have received favorable press with the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, New York Times, and others. Tipsy Elves started as a Christmas sweater company, but has since evolved and expanded into a one stop shop for all fun and unique holiday apparel.

As I was browsing through their selection, I couldn’t help but chuckle.  I mean, they have everything from American flag tank tops to long sleeve shirts to fanny packs to dresses to jackets to FULL JUMPSUITS!  It’s funny, too, because Stephanie is kind of obsessed with all things with the American flag.  So much so that we often tease her about it and send her pictures of the most ridiculous American flag stuff we can find.  Anyway, I chose this American flag tank top.

It arrived just in time for the All American 5K. They kindly sent one for Stephanie, as well, which was a nice surprise for her.  She was ecstatic because the tanks really are so cute and crazy soft! They were perfect for the race!

fourth of july tanks

We were literally standing beneath the tiniest ledge on the side of a building before the race started as it was pouring down rain!  As we drove to the race, the skies were dark and threatening.  By the time we were on the shuttle, it was raining.  We stepped off the bus into pouring rain.  We tried to camp out under the ledge before the race began, but it was pointless as our shoes quickly became soaked with the standing groundwater.

The race was showcased as “The Fastest 5K in St. Louis!” as the majority of it is flat or downhill.  However, we didn’t want to bust our butts in the rain, so we stayed at a comfortable pace.  It literally rained THE ENTIRE RACE!  It let up a couple of times, and I would make some remark about how it stopped, and then instantly it would begin again.  It was unbelievable how hard and how long it poured.  Everyone, everything was absolutely drenched.  St. Louis is totally over this rain.  But… we finished and proudly sported our medals!

post race sisters steph

27:58 to be exact!  It is faster than our last 5K and not too shabby considering the torrential downpour!  Post-race goodies included ice cream which you know I was a fan of.  I can’t wait to see which Chipotle race is next in the Go! St. Louis series!

We raced (ha!) home and speedily showered and got dressed before heading to our parents’ house for a delicious Father’s Day brunch.  I was starving by the time we got there and ate a ton.  If you know my parents, you know what amazing food (and how much!) we always have, and this brunch certainly didn’t disappoint.  But more importantly, we celebrated my amazing father – the smartest, kindest, most selfless and talented dad we’ve ever known!

dad fathers day 2015

We love him so much and William has the BEST “Pops” in the world!

momma william june2015

How adorable is his outfit?! My mom got it for him! LOVE it!

No family brunch would be complete without some cousin love and William-squeezing:

cousins 615

(This was the best we got after many arguments of who got to hold William; they finally compromised on putting him in the middle, but they both got to “help” hold him. Must be touching baby at.all.times!)

Running in the rain – yay or nay? I don’t love it, but we survived!

The Next Chipotle Race

The Next Chipotle Race is the Go! St. Louis All American 5K and Fun Run on June 21, 2015 – I’m running & Chipotle is sponsoring me! Sign up to run with me!  My sister Stephanie is running with me and she’s American flag obsessed, so I’m thinking we’ll be putting together some fun outfits for this All American 5K!

Unlike the last race we ran, this course is supposed to be mostly flat and downhill and perfect to PR on. Not only that, but this All American race is complete with apple pie and ice cream.  Oh yes!  You know I love a good post-race treat! So, St. Louis friends, who will sign up to run with us? Would love to see you out there!

steph linz july 4th

Really old throwback picture – closest thing I could find of us in anything red, white, and blue! We need to start working on our race day outfits! Clearly the bikinis won’t cut it!

I know this girl will be the other Chipotle-runner at the race, too!

In blog news, you bloggers should sign up with TapInfluence. FitFluential uses it which is why I originally signed up, but it’s a good way to get in touch with brands, get your name out there, and do some paid campaigns. It walks you through making a media kit, and that’s it. Pretty easy. Use my referral link and get yo’self signed up!

In healthy deals news, you can save 20% on Skoop superfood blends and plant-based protein for the whole month of June! Fuel yourself up right for a super summer. Enter code ‘BAG20’ at checkout to apply the discount. (A-Game greens are my daily favorite!)

In baby news, my poor William has another ear infection!

On top of his molars coming in, now his poor little ear is infected!  Sleep has been rough, so he’s been needing some extra momma snuggles. While nights have been harder, he is still his same happy self during the day…

…raccoon jammies and all! We like to stay in our pjs all day in the summer. No shame.

And on this lovely Friday, I’ll leave you with one last photo – me and my mini-me (Audrey Rose, my niece) who insisted we do “this” for our picture:

Threenager, for sure.

Talk to me! What are you up to this weekend? Any upcoming races?

U-City Memorial Day 5K

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I ran a 5K on Memorial Day.  It was the first race I ran since my half marathon a month and a half ago.  I’d only run a couple of times since then. My sister and I signed up to run the U-City Memorial Day 5K together.  I love having races to train for; it definitely keeps me motivated.  Before the race began, Jackie Joyner-Kersee led stretches.  We jumped at the opportunity to get a picture!

How awesome are her pants?  I want them.

I was recently sent a pair of Champion CSX Compression Socks in exchange for my honest review.  I had worn them once before and decided to test them out again during the race. (Never wear something new for the first time during a race!)  I used their sizing chart to determine which size would fit me best, and it was very accurate.  The socks were tight, but not uncomfortable. I didn’t have to worry about them falling down throughout the race either.

I think it’s hard to judge if compression socks “work,” but I will say this: the course was hillier than I anticipated. I think the compression socks helped my calves not scream at me so much during the many uphills.  Afterwards, I didn’t feel any soreness at all.  I actually thought I would be pretty sore due to my lack of running, all the uphills, and just the general post-race soreness that generally occurs.  But I didn’t.  I’d like to think the Champion CSX Compression Socks had something to do with it!

More than just compression: CSX Compression Sport Socks feature built-in arch, ankle, calf, and Achilles support using the most advanced sports yarns available coupled with a sleek, vibrant look. Our socks are designed to give athletes and active individuals the decisive edge in performance, injury reduction, and recover.

And because I didn’t really understand how compression socks work, I found this blurb on their website:

CSX Compression Sport Socks work to reduce the diameter of the superficial veins in the lower leg, thus helping to improve blood flow. This helps to protect, energize, and renew tired leg muscles.

So it all makes sense now.  My legs aren’t magical; the compression socks must have done their job. But….. post-race fro yo probably helped! 😉

I’m all about sweet treats after a race!  Even if it was 8 a.m.!

The results? Our time was 28:35 which was a 9:12 pace.  It’s faster than when I’ve been running by myself, so I’ll take it!  And because I love stats and competition, here’s how I ranked compared to the others:

  • 224th of 645 overall
  • 71st of 348 females
  • 4th of 19 females ages 25-29

I’m happy with it, but I’m definitely ready to improve my speed.  Time to go to work!  I’ve got plans this summer for training and racing and gains to be made. Details coming.

Did you race during Memorial Day weekend?