What I’m loving lately – November

Things lately have been really good.¬†Life in general is going well – I’m happy and enjoying life. Work is going well. And running is still going well.

Running: This year has been so good for my running. Whatever I’ve been doing has clearly been working because not only have I been consistently running but I’ve been running strong. I feel in a very positive place – I can only hope this lasts!

Last week I ran another fast 10k (42 mins flat – my official PB is 42:50) on a random lunchtime run.The colder weather definitely helps me to run faster and the 10k route I take is super flat so this helps. I should probably do a 10k race and give it some welly to make it official (as I’ve now beaten my official PB twice on a training run). But at the same time, I don’t want to enter a 10k race this side of Christmas before my next marathon… aaaaand I hate 10ks. Though I do have Stubbington 10k mid-January. Not really a goal in my head though if I’m honest. I’m just happy to know I’m a bit faster.

parkrun Alphabet Challenge: After completing the challenge, Kyle surprised me with a very lovely present. He had a hoodie made with all the corresponding parkruns typed out and the date which I’d first done that parkrun (as for some I’d done multiple times). He even put a heart on Netley because it was my home parkrun. And he made sure to choose parkruns that were meaningful to me where I had multiple choices for the letters.I also liked the front. It was a very thoughtful and lovely gift. I wore it with pride at Netley parkrun the week after I got back from Zary. Everyone was impressed ūüôā It’s a niche challenge, I grant you, but I’m so proud of myself and it’s so nice to have something to commemorate it.Compression socks: I was recently sent some compression socks from Rymora Socks. I’m a big fan of compression socks.I wear them for the majority of my long runs and have worn them for every single marathon. There’s some science to support that wearing compression socks after running can help speed up recovery (increase the blood flow and reduce stiffness) but in terms of during the run, the jury is out.However, I personally like to wear them¬†during long runs as I find it reduces cramp and I feel more supported. This might all be a placebo but I like to wear them. I think it helps.Anyway, the compression socks from Rymora are good. They’re tight and provide decent support to my calves. However, they are not as tight or give as much compression as my favourite pair from CEP. I think the cost reflects this (CEP are upwards of ¬£30 whereas Rymora are around ¬£10). That said, some people prefer less compression. They’re also A LOT easier to get off after the run – which with my CEP socks can be an absolute nightmare.The Rymora socks are a little long for me as well. They come just over my knees. But nothing that a bit of rolling down doesn’t solve. All in all, a very affordable option for a “milder” pair of compression socks.

Metal straw: I’m not the best at avoiding plastic, I will admit that now. I buy a lot of squash and fizzy drinks throughout the month. It’s hard to reduce something like squash that I really enjoy because asides from just having plain water, there’s not much else I can do to jazz it up that doesn’t involve plastic. Yes I could use bits of fruit but it really isn’t the same for me. I could get those little squirty things for flavour enhancing but they’re not as good either and I go through them quite quickly.

But I have bought myself a metal straw. Kyle and I go to the cinema a lot and we always buy a drink from their fountain machine thing. So we bring our straws with us. Yes this is SUCH a small thing, but it helps in a very small way. We also use them at work if we buy a Subway drink. It is a tricky thing to clean though!

I used to use straws in my morning coffee as well. I always have a coffee on the way to the gym (I make at home) and a straw helped me drink it while I was driving without having to avert my gaze from the road (I would use one straw for as long as possible FYI – I didn’t use a new one every day!). Now I use my metal straw. Though I’ve burnt my lips a few times!I know I need to get better and I annoy myself for what I’m like. I do like to think I’m good in other ways though. I don’t use baby wipes, I don’t wear make-up, I use the “hard” shampoo from Lush, I buy loose fruit and vegetables where I can and try not to buy too many fizzy drinks in small bottles. I know I have a long way to go but at least I’m conscious of my actions. I just wish society also made things easier as well. Excuses, excuses I know.

Are you doing anything to reduce the plastic you use?

Do you wear compression socks?

Have you ever received a running-related gift?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the Rymora socks in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Sole Softec Response Footbed Review

Hello, so I have a great review for you today. I was kindly sent some insoles and socks from the guys at Sole.

I have fairly collapsed arches (though now actually less so after making efforts to strength them over the past year¬†– an exciting and thrilling process…not). So I’m not completely flat-footed anymore but I still don’t have very high or strong arches. Towards the end of a run or race I imagine my arches collapse further and this can cause me all sorts of biometric issues further up my legs and body.

Softec Response Footbeds (£38)

I’ve previously worn insoles to help support my arches and I wear supportive shoes to help as well. So I was very intrigued when I heard about Softec Reponse Footbeds.

SOFTEC RESPONSE

They’re a 1.6mm layer of cushioning that you replace your regular trainer soles with. The cool thing about them is that they’re moulded so provide a more custom support.

They’re great for:

  • Equalised pressure distribution
  • Reduced plantar fascia strain
  • Increased balance and feel
  • Improved natural heel cushioning

They’re mouldable because they have an orthopaedic base layer which adapts to your foot without compromising that orthopaedic shape. You mould them by heating them in oven prior to putting them into your trainers… Sounds bizarre right?

The insoles come with really easy instructions. First I trimmed down the insoles to fit into a pair of my trainers. I used the regular insoles as a guide to make sure they fit nice and snugly into the trainers.SOFTEC RESPONSE setup

Then I removed them from the trainers and popped them into the oven for 3 minutes (I set an alarm as knowing me I’d have completely forgotten about them otherwise).

SOFTEC RESPONSE moulding

There’s a sensor on the side of the insoles which turns from white to black when they’re ready which is very handy. You then have to put the insoles quickly into your trainers (let them cool just slightly!) as you need to put the trainers on and stand in them as quickly as possible to maximise the moulding effect. I won’t lie, I felt panicked and rushed to do this as speedily¬†as possible, though it could be because I’m quite neurotic. Anyway I got my feet into them fairly quickly. Ahhh lovely and warm trainers.
IMG_5939

You then stand there for two minutes to let the magic happen. Then it’s complete!

Thought?¬†OK obviously right now I can’t run… but I’ve been doing lots of walking in these bad boys.¬†They’re very comfortable. I feel well supported and not crowded or restricted in movement. I like that my foot fits nicely on them after the moulding because it means my foot isn’t rigidly forced into a position it’s not used to or not natural for it. Yes the soles provide support, but by supporting and working with my natural foot shape, rather than against it. I’m really excited to wear these for running. It was about time I got some new insoles so these are perfect.

Lightweight Sport Socks (£11.50)

I was also sent a pair of their lightweight sport socks.

LIGHTWEIGHT SPORT CREW SOLE SOCKS

They’re a great all-rounder sock with breathable mesh panels¬†and¬†moisture control.
WOMEN'S LIGHTWEIGHT SPORT SOLE SOCKS

Thoughts?¬†They’re too long to wear when I go running or to the gym (unless I wear leggings) but they are PERFECT for wearing with wellies (rain boots for international readers). I struggle to find decent wellie socks that don’t slip down and there is nothing more annoying than having to ferret about inside your wellie to put up your socks. They stick to my ankles and calves perfectly and they’re so soft and comfy. I also love them in my walking boots.

Do you wear insoles?

What type of trainers do you wear? Supportive, cushioned, neutral etc.?

What socks do you prefer? Long, short, compression…?

*** Full Disclosure: I was sent the insoles and socks for free in return for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones ***