Things I’m Loving Lately – May

It’s almost June. How did that happen?

Aftershokz: So. The saga of my Aftershokz. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but after the Brighton Marathon I lost my beloved Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones (they did so many races and long runs with me…devastating). I either threw them away accidentally with my foil blanket (standard Anna move) or I left them on the beach. I was really upset about losing them because honestly they’re so good for running outdoors. As someone who is generally an idiot, hearing the outside world while I run is a help. But I do love listening to music and podcasts so with Aftershokz it really is the best of both worlds. Good sound quality while also allowing you to hear the surroundings. It basically uses “bone technology” to transfer the sound to you, rather than through your ears. Your ears are therefore left unobstructed.

Aftershokz amazingly reached out to me through Twitter to ask me what had happened and I explained. They were very sympathetic and offered me a 30% discount code. As they’re £100 to replace my old ones that would be quite a chunk off. However when I tried to use the discount code it wouldn’t work so I messaged them to ask if I was doing something wrong (usually the case, let’s be honest). It turns out they were the US Aftershokz and the discount code would only work for the US site… ah.

Instead they offered me an unboxed test pair of the Aftershokz Trekz Air, the new version, FOR FREE. They wouldn’t be brand new box fresh of course but they would be a working pair with all the bits and bobs working fine, simply just not in the box. Of course I said yes!They arrived a week or so later. And they are amazing. I mean they work just as well as my Titanium’s did (the model before) but they’re a bit lighter and more streamline. I love them. I can’t stress how much I love Aftershokz headphones for running. During races I like to hear the crowds and of course the marshals, and these headphones just give me the option of both hearing my music and still absorbing the race. Not only this but they’re England Athletics approved, meaning they can legally be used in races. I also like that I can keep wearing them when they’re turned off without them blocking sound out. During a marathon I won’t want to listen to music or podcasts all the time, so just having them sat above my ears nice and comfortably means I can still hear properly out of my actual ears. Happy happy.

Obscene amounts of chocolate: I was in Gunwharf Quays on Saturday to see the new Avengers Film (a rave in itself really) and while waiting for the film time, we had a mosey in the Cadbury’s shop. I haven’t been in that shop in ages and thought it would be really over-priced, but actually everything was really reasonable! It wasn’t like dirt cheap of course but it was probably cheaper than the supermarket. And I was SO pleased to have finally found the holy grail of chocolate… the white chocolate Toblerone. I’ve been obsessed about this since my friend Kate got one for her birthday a few months ago. She’d said she got it from the airport and as I hadn’t spotted it anywhere else I was resigned to only seeing it after a holiday (the time when we all want to eat lots of chocolate…hmm).

But lo! And behold! There it was. And under £4 for a decent sized one.I also picked up a big bag of Mis-Shapes. They’re apparently factory rejects of odd shaped chocolates. Well, I was fairly disappointed with my selection. It’s basically a bag of fudges and a few coffee chocolates. I hate coffee flavoured chocolate so really it’s a bag of fudges. Hmmmm! I thought there would be a bit more variety so I feel a bit short-changed. I guess it’s the luck of the draw as well with things like that. Nonetheless, chocolate is chocolate and it was quite cheap for the amount you got.

Supplements I’m taking: I don’t really take that many supplements because I’ve read a lot of articles about how it’s essentially giving you expensive wee as the vitamins etc. just go straight through you. That said, I’ve heard some good stuff about Omega 3 supplements and Magnesium. Through work I was given some supplements to test out for free (how many times do I need to say this… I love my job).They’re from the brand Puori I tried the Organic Whey Protein, the Liquid Fish Oil, the Magnesium and the Vitamin D. I personally don’t think I need to take Vitamin D right now because I get enough sun now with the day being longer. I walk Alfie twice a day, go for a lunchtime walk at work and run outside… so I’m guessing I’m OK on that front. So I’ll save them for the winter months.With the liquid fish oil I was a bit dubious because, well, fish oil. But it’s absolutely fine. It has a faint taste of lemon but it’s not sweet. It doesn’t taste fishy and it’s only a small amount you take. It is a bit greasy if you spill some on yourself though (standard Anna move again).

The magnesium tablets are good but I’m getting through them quickly as you take three at a time. I also had to put them on my bedside table because you take them before bed and I kept forgetting. Though I can’t tell for sure, I do think this is helping with my recoveries. I’ve heard good things about magnesium, especially when combined with Zinc as this supplement is. I’m all about injury prevention!

Do you take any supplements?

Do you use headphones when you run?

What is your favourite chocolate?

**Full Disclaimer: I was given the supplements for free at work in exchange of a review on the Wiggle site. I was also sent the Aftershokz for free but they did not ask me for anything in return.**

Things I’m Loving Lately – April

Hope everyone had a great Bank Holiday weekend (if you had it off!)… So here’s some stuff I’m loving lately!

Jaybird Headphones: So I think I mentioned in a previous post that I had STUPIDLY thrown away my Aftershokz headphones in a peak of post-marathon PB euphoria… When I was taking a photo I put the headphones on top of the foil blanket that I’d taken off and then when I was done grabbed the blanket and threw it away with the heaphones (or I left the headphones on the beach). Either way, the headphones are no longer around. A moment of silence, please, to mourn the loss.

However, Jaybird kindly reached out to me after hearing what had happened and asked if I’d like to try out their wireless earphones. So nice of them and of course I was up for it! I was having to use my Apple wired headphones and honestly there really is nothing worse when at the gym or running and having a cable getting in the way. So annoying.I was sent a pair of Freedom 2 Wireless Sport Headphones. They’re wireless, connect to your phone or device via Bluetooth and fit into your ears. They’re also sweat and water-proof (handy for a runner!). They run for 4 hours but also have a 4 hour charge clip too.What do I think? I really like them. They fit SO well in my ears (they also come with different size ear bits if you struggle). They slot in and stay put, when I run and when I’m at the gym. The sound quality is great – I can hear my music so well (even over the music at the gym). And the adjustable cable at the back is perfect and doesn’t bug me.What I will say though is since I’ve been using Aftershokz it is a bit of a shock to suddenly go into an immersive sound experience while running. What I mean by that is that I can only hear my music and nothing else. This is fantastic in the gym scenario when I literally want to shut out the sounds around me. It’s also great if you’re on the train. Absolutely ideal. However when I run I do want to be able to hear the outdoors a bit more. This is for safety reasons mainly (because remember, I’m essentially an idiot) but also in a race scenario I’d like to be able to hear marshals, the crowd and feel the atmosphere.
That said, I do love these earphones. They’re my solid choice for train use and for the gym. I love them. I will use them for running as well, but probably just when I’m running on my own in familiar areas that aren’t too much near the road.

Running friends: When I first started running I ran alone. I loved to be a lone wolf running whenever I wanted and however I wanted. As the years have passed I’ve found that I actually prefer running with others. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a mentally refreshing solo run of course. But there’s something so lovely about having a friend to go running with too. On those runs I don’t really care too much about pace. In fact, most of the time I prefer to go easier so we can talk and catch up.

The other day, via the magic of Instagram, an old school friend who I hadn’t properly spoken to in ‘real life’ in about 15 years (oh my god I’m so old…) contacted me and asked if I wanted to go for a run with her. She lived locally and we’d kept tabs on each other through social media but hadn’t really progressed further than swapping odd comments and asking each other’s advice on stuff.So on Tuesday evening I jogged over (literally 5 minutes from my house) and we went for a lovely 7 mile run together. We were roughly the same pace so could chat easily while neither of us felt like we were dying or running too slowly. It was such a lovely run. But it is funny, how do you start a conversation with someone you haven’t seen since school? We covered a lot of topics I can tell you! Hopefully we’ll continue to run the odd run together when our schedules allow (I say “our”, she has a baby so she’s far more busy than me!).

Also she’s an AMAZING individual because she suffers from a heart issue (Supraventricular tachycardia – I’m not entirely sure what this is but it’s definitely a worry for her and she has to take medication). But she’s still training for a marathon AND an ultra. I mean, whaaaat. Puts injuries into perspective, right?

Working for Wiggle: I know I say this so often but I really do love my job. I mean I love what I do; I find it so interesting and I’m always so motivated to work hard and do a good job. But I also love the perks (like the monthly Friday runs). This time it was a sample sale! Basically they were selling the stuff that couldn’t be sold commercially. So tops were £3, shorts and leggings £4 etc. Well it was madness I tell you. Everyone went mental over it. A huge queue formed to get into the meeting room and then when we got int there it was like Primark on Boxing Day. Absolutely mental.

I managed to come away with two dhb leggings (very nice, one high-waisted one normal) and a pair of purple dhb shorts. All for the bargain total of £12! I am very pleased! One happy customer! In the end around £2,300 was raised and will all be going to charity. How good is that?

One thing I’m not loving… Forgetting to take my socks with me to work for my lunchtime run (runch). There’s always the danger to forget something really… but socks! Ehhh, such a pain. I decided to risk it because I was pretty much ready to go (well, sans socks and trainers) and I couldn’t be bothered to go running after work. Thankfully I didn’t get any blisters, despite it being very warm outside, but it was a close call. What an idiot, eh.

What are you loving lately?

Do you use earphones when you workout?

Do you prefer to run alone or with others?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the Jaybird earphones for free in exchange for a review on my blog. All opinions are my own honest ones.**