Compression & Fashion Go Hand-In-Hand! {Lily Trotters Review & Giveaway!}

Let’s talk about compression socks. Again.

As a runner I’m sure you have heard of the perceived advantage of wearing compression during a run and afterward to aid in recovery. Compression socks and sleeves are thought to promote circulation and keep leg fatigue at bay. If you are new to the compression game, there isn’t really any hard science to prove that these things are true, but I certainly believe they are and have noticed the benefits from wearing them myself. It makes sense after all; compression socks have been used for years in the medical industry. Why wouldn’t they work for runners too?

There are tons of brands to choose from out there and it seems we all have our favorites. I own calf sleeves and socks from two different companies and like them both for different reasons, although I have always leaned toward sleeves because the socks squeeze my feet too much.

For those that might not know, I had a gnarly foot injury last year and compression socks exacerbated the pain so during that time I got pretty turned off to them.

A little while back I received an email from a good friend telling me that she knew a woman who had started developing her own line of compression socks. She had mentioned me and given her my contact info, letting her know that I was a runner and that I would be happy to test out her product for her once she had some available. (I have good friends right??) Well then the other week this woman ­– who is EXTREMELY nice…her name is Susan – reached out to me, asking if I remembered her from the conversation I had with my friend.

DO I? If it has anything to do with running, I’m pretty much guaranteed to remember who you are. And yet I have trouble remembering my own phone number.

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Susan’s new company is called Lily Trotters and isn’t that logo darling? A lily trotter is a kind of bird that walks around on lily pads. I just learned that yesterday.  Anyway go ahead and click on over there. I’ll wait….

SO ADORABLE RIGHT!?

Lily Trotters are tested and approved high performance grade compression socks, but they are nothing like any of the other ones I own. Not that my other socks aren’t cute in a way ­– they are certainly bright and cheery – but these could easily be worn on a run or as part of an adorable outfit for work. I know some of you sneak your compression socks on under your dress pants like I do, SUZ.

She says they are “Strong enough for a long run. Thin enough to rock your favorite shoes.” True story. Here are some of the product deets:

  • Proprietary easy-to-get-on 100% micro nylon weave
  • 15-20 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) – just the right squeeze! 
  • Cushioned heels & reinforced toes
  • Moisture wicking, antimicrobial

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Mine are black with pink and neon green polka dots and they go fantastically with my multiple pairs of new pink shoes. I began reviewing these socks in my head the second I put them on. First of all, I could actually get them on without hurting myself. Where my other socks feel almost excessively squeezy these felt like they were compressing just right in all the places, even my feet. The material is also thinner and more breathable than what I’m used to.

Another think I noticed and loved right away: They are longer than my other socks. They come all the way up to my knees. On top of that (literally the top of the sock) is slightly ruffled and pink. SUPER freaking cute. I wore them around the house all night before bed and then in the morning I sported them to the gym for my 8 mile pace run….

Hi. I'm a giant dork.

Hi. I’m a giant dork.

…and my legs felt so great that I sped up! It has been awhile since I ran wearing socks or sleeves and now I’m wondering why I stopped. I really needed to have a good run today.

Lily Trotters is still in its early stages, but I am happy to be able to help get the word out about these fabulous socks. Plus the locally owned aspect of it: Lily Trotters is Baltimore-based and I love supporting my hometown businesses. If you clicked over to their site, you may have noticed there is a place where you can drop your email…definitely do that! You’ll get updates on the official Lily Trotters launch and early bird pre-order discounts!

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Now let me tell you why else Susan is so super great: Not only did she send me this pair for myself, but she sent a second pair for me to give away to one of you!

Do you wanna build a snowman be my sock twin!? Here’s how:

Leave a comment below telling me about your experience with compression socks. Do you wear them? No? Do you WANT to?

Then there are ways to get additional entries too (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), but you’ll see that all spelled out in the Rafflecopter below.

A SWEET Compression Sock Giveaway from Lily Trotters!

This giveaway runs from right now until next Tuesday night (March 3) at midnight. I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 4!

Good luck to everyone who enters and BIG thanks to Lily Trotters for letting me be a part of this! I LOVE these socks!

Xo,

Salt

I was generously provided with a  pair of compression socks to review and one to give away. All opinions in this blog post are my own!
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2014: Fun times, success, and a few too many pity parties.

Well here we are! It’s the last day of 2014 and I’m sitting here all confused because WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO 2014!? Remember when you were little and time seemed to go sooooo slowly? I used to “yeah right” my mom whenever she would tell me that time sped up the older you get and the moral of that story is: listen to your mom.

I have been thinking for days about how I wanted to approach my yearly recap. So much has happened that I could write a post as long as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but then no one would want to read it including me. So here are a few of the highest of highlights and lowliest of lowlights that I’ve picked out from the past year.

The Highlights!

Betty!

Obviously the highlightiest of all is Betty because nothing could ever beat her out for that top spot. From our trip to Florida in February (and her first ride on an airplane!), to her second birthday in March, to Halloween fun, and our first 5K together, there are really way too many favorite memories to list.

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There’s so much fun ahead of us in 2015, even if age 3 does end up being worse than 2 like every person who has experience parenting a three year old has been telling me.

I am choosing to remain optimistic that we will be an exception because Betty already acts like she’s 10.

PRs

At the beginning of the year I set a couple personal race goals for 2014. One of them was to run a 21-minute 5k, a goal I attained in early May. I went on to PR two more times in June, my fastest being at the Fit Foodie where I was an ambassador and got to hang with some of my favorite blogging ladies for a weekend! From left to right, Cynthia, Erika, Photobomb Sue, and Courtney! (I’m in there too. Duh.) Fellow Ambassadors Deb and Amy are not pictured, but I wish they were!

Target Starbucks selfie. Fortunately I have super-humanly long arms.

Awesome time with awesome ladies!

I also set my 15K PR in March (not that I have much to compare it to because I’ve only run one 15K), my 10K PR in April, my half marathon PR in September, and most recently my 8K PR at Zoo Zoom in November. Zoo Zoom is one of my favorite races and my performance there compared to last year really gave me a good idea of how far I’ve come as a runner.

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Of course it was also awesome to finally meet Mar and hang with one of my BRFs, Sara!

And speaking of BRFs…following an October 5K, I made the trek down to the Marine Corps Marathon to FINALLY meet my sole sister, Helly! Sorry not sorry that I have already posted this photo 12 times.

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It was a year FULL of running friends!

photo 3My friend Trish is on the far left, then Amber of PB & PRs next to me on the left and Lisa from Running Out of Wine on the right!

My First Marathon

I recapped it in two separate posts (here and here), but just in case you don’t have a spare 45 minutes to read all my ramblings here are the Cliffs Notes: On May 25 I ran Bob Potts, a small marathon in York, PA.

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My training left a lot to be desired because I got laid up with tendinitis (see the upcoming pity party section), but I managed to MacGuyver together the right amount of long runs and finished in 3:49:25; a number which I would subsequently have tattooed onto my forearm.

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The Mobbies

Not exactly running related, but run blogging related: I won a Mobbie! (In acid washed pants!)

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Now you are probably asking yourself “WTF is a Mobbie” and I’ll tell you. The Mobbies are awards for Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs and I was voted #1 Health and Wellness Blog this year! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me!

The GPS Series

The GPS is a series of 8 races held by my run club. In order to be eligible for a prize at the end of the year I had to participate in 4 of the events and place well in my age group. Despite some injury drama, I completed 5 of the races and took home a lovely first place plaque. Here’s a recap after the award night and in that post I also recapped the races that got me there.

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Finally Training Again!

In October there was supposed to be a second marathon and then I was supposed to be heading to Disney next week to do the Dopey Challenge, but as we all know sometimes things don’t go as planned. I don’t consider that a half marathon happened instead of the full and that I will still be here in cold-ass Baltimore next week are bad things because great things came from both. I had a blast with friends running the Baltimore Half Marathon (improving my time by 2 minutes over last year!) and I was able to defer my Dopey registration to 2016. Best of all? The break from training for all those long distances allowed me some extra healing time and now as of last week I’m working toward an April marathon. I’m really looking forward to training correctly and playing it safe this time around, following a plan and taking my time. Hopefully the result will be a great race in New Jersey!

Race Pics!

Here are my top 5 faves from the past year:

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Bob Potts Marathon: May 25, 2014

Fit Foodie 5K: June 21, 2014

Fit Foodie 5K: June 21, 2014

Charles Street 12: August 9, 2014

Charles Street 12: August 9, 2014

Baltimore Running Festival: October 18, 2014

Baltimore Running Festival: October 18, 2014

The Color Run: November 15, 2014

The Color Run: November 15, 2014

TOTAL MILEAGE FOR 2014: 1,302

I started out this year with the goal of running 1,500 miles. It didn’t happen and I’m okay with that. Honestly, 1,300 is far more than I thought I’d be able to manage all things considered. Which brings us to…

The Lowlights!

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I went to the doctor this year almost as many times as I went in 2012. And in 2012 I was pregnant.

Injury #1: February. A nagging little pain in my right ankle blew up into a case of peroneal tendinitis so severe that I could barely walk at the end of our otherwise-very-fun Florida vacation. I can only blame myself for this. It hurt and I ran on it anyway. I’m a dumbass who learned a valuable lesson:

If something hurts, DON’T RUN ON IT.

If I hadn’t made that rookie mistake, maybe I wouldn’t have been sitting down on an exercise bike for pretty much the entire month of March with a May marathon looming on the horizon. I did attempt a rosy approach at this injury here.

Injury #2: June. This time it was much worse. After visits to multiple podiatrists, a sports medicine doctor, my chiropractor, and an acupuncturist, the diagnosis that stuck was deep peroneal nerve entrapment. (I HATE ANYTHING INVOLVING PERONEALS!) Likely brought on by all the 5Ks I raced in the wrong pair of shoes, which just so happen to also be one of my favorite pairs of shoes because I was wearing them during all of my short distance PRs. I was told I needed surgery and resigned myself to it because at the worst point I would have rather someone cut my nerves and make my toes go numb forever than feel the dreadful pain that I was constantly feeling.

For all of you that continued to read my blog while this was all going on…thank you. I was trying to not be depressing, but looking back on it I was depressed and not fun to be around either on here or at home. It was REALLY hard to be a coffee bean.

I got a bunch of needles in my foot for diagnostic tests, plus cortisone and I know I was probably judged by people for getting it, but I think it was instrumental in my surgery avoidance. I switched to the Baltimore half due to inability to train for the full and wrote off Dopey until 2016 because there was just no way. And now?  It’s actually better. Dr. No-BS was RIGHT. I never, ever thought it would get better without surgery and it did. I do stretching exercises with my foot regularly and whenever I can I warm up and cool down before and after my runs and so far this has kept my foot feeling pretty healthy. I would say that it’s about at 98.3%. It’s pain-free, but it still feels a little weird from time to time and to this day slightly discolored. That bruise was OMG.

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2014 has been one of my best years ever. Full of fun times with my girl, family, friends, great new opportunities (including a new job!), lots of races (18!), and even when things got rough lessons were learned.

AND YOU GUYS! Thank you for making my first full year of blogging such an incredible experience! 2015 has some stiff competition.

What were some of your brightest moments of 2014?

Xo,

Salt

Life is just a bowl of cherries! {And a chiro update.}

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I went just about 36 years without much fruit in my diet at all outside of the occasional smoothie. Actually I talked about this not too long ago when I suddenly became obsessed with apples and needed to know all about which kinds I should try. Thank you for all the suggestions, by the way. My favorites so far are Pink Lady and Gala and I’ve been eating an apple as a snack almost every day.

Since then I’ve been so much more open minded about trying new things and Mr. Salt has been bringing home all sorts of fruit for me to sample. I’ve had…

  • Peaches: The smell alone makes my stomach turn and I can’t get past it. It reminds me too much of this nauseating Body Shop fuzzy peach perfume my friends used to wear in middle school.
  • Nectarines: AKA: Non-fuzzy peaches. I managed to bite into one and didn’t die from it, but the smell was too similar to peaches for me to be able to enjoy it.
  • Watermelon: Meh. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat it by itself, but it tastes good when paired with other things such as cottage cheese. I think pretty much everything goes with cottage cheese.
  • Pears: NO. Maybe I got a bad one, but I hated it.
  • Red Seedless Grapes: We have these in the house all the time now. So good.
  • Oranges: Tasty!

And quite a few others. Then last night he arrived home with a bag of some of the biggest cherries I’ve ever seen. Apparently cherries are expensive (?) so he doesn’t usually buy them, but when he stopped to get milk on his way home he saw that these were on sale and thought they would be good for Betty’s lunch. She LOVES cherries.

As he stood at the kitchen counter de-pitting them, he handed me one. I was skeptical. These cherries were intimidating. But I didn’t want him to make fun of me, so I accepted it and bit off a tiny piece.

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 TASTE EXPLOSION!

I was instantly hooked, but I also wondered…how healthy are these exactly? The only experience I had with cherries before last night was with the maraschino variety that they put on ice cream and in cocktails and those are LOADED with sugar. As it turns out, there is a huge difference between those sweet little cocktail cherries and the gargantuan ones in my house. They are packed with vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, fiber, contain virtually no sodium or fat and are a great low-cal snack!

I never would have dreamed how beneficial cherries could be to your diet…especially the diet of a runner!

Cherries for Runners

  • They help keep you trim and fit. Cherries contain B vitamins crucial to your metabolism. Plus as I mentioned above, they are low in calories, but pack a lot of fiber so as a snack they leave you feeling fuller, longer.
  • They can aid sleep. If you are anything like me, you might get race-induced insomnia before a big event. Cherry juice could help you sleep a little easier! From a study: Participants drank 30ml of cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before their evening meal, thereby boosting their exogenous melatonin intake by 85mcg/day.
  • They combat post workout soreness. Cherries/cherry juice contains anthocyanins that are thought to significantly reduce muscle inflammation. This study shows that if you run long distances you are probably destined to be sore afterward, but the cherry juice group reported less post-run pain.
  • And speaking of anthocyanins… These are also thought to prevent cancer, and encourage healthy circulation. And proper nerve function.

PROPER NERVE FUNCTION.

I’m about to eat all the cherries in the whole world.

Oh and after talking to my daughter’s teacher this morning I learned that cherries are delicious when frozen and then dropped in a glass of wine. I know what I’m doing later.

How do you feel about cherries? Do you remember that fuzzy peach perfume!?

Also I would like to thank everyone for the kind comments and great suggestions left on yesterdays post. At first I was going to hold off on posting about that appointment until I could process the news a little better, but now I’m so glad I wrote it right away. You guys are so helpful!

Now for some better news:

I went back to Dr. Dave (my chiro) armed with my new diagnosis. He checked out my leg and foot and told me that I’ve already improved 10-fold since I first went in to see him. (Which I believe. My leg is better.) Anyway he wants me to trust him and he said that he can fix it without surgery if I just stick with him for a minute. He did the ART method that a couple of you mentioned (thanks, Judith and Annmarie!) and used an ultrasound on my foot. I go back to see him again on Tuesday.

Last night I dug my old Merrell hiking sandals out of the closet that are still full of dirt from playing around in streams in California, but at least they are much more supportive than flip flops and I can still have open toes on these hot summer days. Hopefully the fact that Dr. Neuro is on vacation for the next couple weeks and the surgery wouldn’t be able to be scheduled right away anyway is a blessing in disguise and I’ll be able to get this under control before any invasive measures are needed. And if it does come to that well then I guess I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it.

xo,

Anatomical Nightmare Salt

Also I just want to remind everyone that I am not a nutritionist or fitness instructor so as always whatever info I post on here about certain foods or workouts are things that I have researched on my own and found interesting. Take what I say with a grain of salt. Pun totally intended.