Thursday, April 26, 2012

Product Review: Tommie Copper Knee Sleeves

As most of you know, I've had some knee pain recently which has limited my training.  One of my blog readers suggested I contact Tommie Copper and offer to review some compression knee sleeves.  I contacted Tommie Copper and within a week I had a pair of sweet knee sleeves.

olive, because doomsday preppers need compression too
One of Tommie Copper's claim is that the sleeves are gentle even to wear 24 hours a day.  With such a claim I was a little skeptical that they would have much compression so I eagerly put them on to try them out.  I had measured my thigh 5 inches above the knee like it said to do on the size and ordered the appropriate size.  The fit was perfect and they were very comfortable.  I immediately felt the compression and when sitting still, could even feel my knees throbbing probably from the compression helping squeeze some of the remaining swelling away.  I wore then to bed several nights in a row and they were very comfortable.  I also wore them under my work pants a few times which worked out well too.  After about 24 hours, the elastic starts to become uncomfortable, but that is a long time to be wearing compression anyway.

Tommie Copper Sleeves in action in Nashville.  Yes, I'm that white (maybe whiter) :-) 

We had family in town when they arrived and they thought I looked a little weird then continued to give me some advice against working out as much as I do, yeah, whatever :-).  Anyway, ever wonder what a guy wearing capris under his shorts looks like?  Well wonder no more :-).

Could be a new style in the making....

Overall I'm very happy with my Tommie Copper knee sleeves and would recommend them to anyone with knee pain that responds well to compression. They are very comfortable and seem to give my knees some support along with the compression.  My regular twinge management will include Tommie Copper from now on.  Tommie Copper offers other colors beside olive and they offer other compression gear including ankle, calf, elbow, shorts, and shirts.

(Disclaimer: I was given knee sleeves for free, courtesy of Tommie Copper at my request.. I did not pay for the knee sleeves, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
(Disclaimer (b): I stole this disclaimer from SuperKate who stole it from Midwest Multisport Life because I'm lazy.)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Resetting Expectations

My first tri of the season is less than four weeks away and I find myself having to adjust my expectations. This tri is the same venue as my very first tri two years ago.  I signed up since some people from work signed up and decided it was a B, maybe even C race.  I'm trying to keep my A races as my 70.3 in July and 13.1 in October though if the 70.3 goes well I have a secret goal of sneaking in a late season 140.6, but I digress.....

When my training looked solid like this in February, I started thinking about crushing my Sprint PR.

After all, I have a couple years of training and racing under my belt.  Should be a piece of cake, a painful piece of cake, but you know what I mean. Then life happened and my consistency went down hill.  Adding the weeks since the end of February and my chart now looks like this.

First a dip at the end of February, beginning of March for my trip to China.  Then a "normal" week, then three weeks of low volume due to knee problems.  The big spike in April was hiking and skiing, hardly any sbr.  Now I'm building back up and happen to be traveling this week and next as well as taking it easy on the knees.  I'm trying to reset my expectations to a "C" race for fun.  In some ways, that takes the pressure off.  In another way, I know I'm going to try to crush it anyway if I'm feeling good.

In other news, my first Oly of the season is the following weekend and it's at the same venue as my first Oly last year.  Let the season begin!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spruce Creek Trail

Last set of trail pictures :-).  On Thursday my son and I decided to take Kathy's suggestion and hike Spruce Creek Trail.  It was a beautiful day and the trail was packed nicely in the middle.  Veer off to one side or the other and you were in snow up to your waist.  The rest of this post is just pictures so move along if you aren't interested in looking at hiking pics :-).  I'll be back to training posts in the near future since my first race is in five weeks, yikes!


we tried to find the upper falls and never did

yep, he is taller than me, I mean he is on the uphill side :-)
We ran into a family looking for the falls as well and had them take our pic.

trees getting thin up here, so is the air. Had to stop and catch our breath about every 10 steps

We had a blast hiking this week.  I like hiking better than skiing in many ways.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Breckenridge skiing - 2012

Despite the lack of snow and warm temperatures, we decided to ski a couple days since this was supposed to be a ski trip after all.  The conditions were the worst we've ever skied in, but it was still beautiful out there.  Here are a couple pics.

My mom's friend, my mom and my son on the lift

nice views

me, my son and my mom

I'm the only one that crashed.  Both times I was going to fast, not paying attention and tried to stop or turn on ice patches.  Both times my skis didn't release.  I think they set the skiis for my weight two years ago that they still had in their computer system.  Oh well, at least I didn't hurt my knees.

I'm not going to show any pictures of the bare spots.  It just doesn't do justice to this beautiful ski area.  Hopefully the snow will be better next year.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gold Hill Trail Head - Colorado Trail

My mom, son and I headed to Colorado Saturday for our "ski" trip.  Before heading to the mountains, we swung by my cousin's house for a visit.  He has a really cool house in a very cool neighborhood. We walked to a sandwich shop for lunch and managed to talk a little about training.  He's a 2x Ironman and I'm an Ironman wannabe, so it was nice to talk shop and hear about his training. Maybe someday we can do an Ironman together.

My cousin, mom, and son.

I had been watching the weather in Breckenridge for a couple weeks and knew it had been warm for several weeks.  I didn't know they had their driest March on record.  My mom asked if I wanted to cancel the trip and I was quick to say no thanks.  The fresh air and mountain views would be nice, even if we couldn't ski.  It was 60 degrees Sunday, so I talked my son into going for a little hike.  We didn't bring don't have hiking gear, so we borrowed a couple back packs and made due.  The Gold Hill trail head is about 3 minutes from where we are staying, so we headed over there late morning.


We headed up the trail.  It was steep by our mid-western standards and with the starting altitude of 9,200' and peak altitude of 10,200', it was a good workout to say the least.  Colorado has a problem with pine beetles killing the trees.  They are then really susceptible to forest fires, so this area had a bunch of freshly cut diseased trees.  Kind of sad.

my son, thrilled to be off the couch :-)

lots of trees cut down

We continued up the trail taking in the beauty of Colorado and eventually ran into some snow.  We continued on, though we started breaking through the snow pack at some points making for tough going..

Just about to the snow.

Things started getting interesting.
When one leg would break through the snow up to about our knee, it was like doing a one leg squat to get out :-).  When both legs would fall through, it was inconvenient but funny.  My son fell through and asked for help and I said "sure, just let me snap a couple of pics first" :-).

I'll be right there :-)

You ok?

We were both chuckling :-)

Then it was my turn.

A little deeper and I could ice my knees :-)

I like the blue sky in the background

We had a great hike and I could see making a vacation around hiking and back packing in the future.  I asked my son if he liked hiking or skiing better and he said skiing because you go faster :-).  Oh well, I'll keep working on him.  I'll share some skiing pics in my next post.