February 26, 2010

A Win is a Win

ROCK racing team members have recently won some pretty cool prizes in a couple of contests.  Ok, so they weren't adventure race wins, but like the title says 'a win is a win'.  These were both photo contests.  Robin picked up the win for a great picture of a mountain bike endo at the Memphis in May Offroad Triathlon.   You can see her winning photo here:  http://singletrack.competitor.com/2010/02/features/and-the-winner-is-robert_6085

And Chuck won the 'Friday Photo' contest with a picture of ROCK Racing putting MPgear map cases to good use at the 2009 Berryman Adventure race.   The winning photo can be seen here:

Thanks to Singletrack and MPgear for hosting these great contests!

February 12, 2010

Training notes 2/7/10

I read about compression sleeves and socks and really wanted to try them out, but I was skeptical about all the claims they made. I especially didn’t understand the theory behind the sleeves, if the compression squeezes blood up the leg, why not down into the foot? It seemed to me the only way to go was with a full sock. When ROCK Racing got the Recovery Sock sponsorship I was determined to give them a thorough testing. My first trial was putting them on for recovery after a couple of runs. Each time the compression felt great and I believe that they helped me recover nicely for the next day’s workout. For the second trial I wore them on an 8 mile road run. I do the same run every Tuesday and Thursday, it’s on pavement, but has some decent size hills that make it worthwhile. Well, the socks felt great for the entire run. At the turnaround point (about halfway) I checked my watch and seen that I had a really good time going, so I told myself to keep pushing and maybe I’d get close to my previous best time. Checking my watch again at the finish, I found out that I had beaten it by almost 2 minutes. Are the socks that good? I dunno, but its time to try them on the trail.

ROCK Racing got together for a trail run this morning, 23 degrees and about 4 inches of snow on the trail. This was my first off-road run in the Recovery Socks. The 13 mile loop took some extra time from battling our way through the snow and frozen ruts. But at the end of it all my feet did not have the expected hotspots I usually have after a run of that length. I’m thinking the compression material holds the sock so tight to my feet any rubbing is impossible. That’s a great unexpected benefit! So here it is the afternoon after the long run, and I feel fully recovered and ready to run again. My initial skepticism was unwarranted; I’m going to be wearing these socks over and over again.

February 5, 2010

A Tale of Two Socks: Recovery Socks

Teammate Patrick Albert supplied the following sock review:
For sometime now I have experienced a problem with tight calves. I stretch but not as often and as thoroughly as I should, which is probably a trait I share with many runners. After trying a couple of different products that sort of worked I was excited when Rock Racing got a new sponsor, Recovery Sock. Chuck informed me that they were going to send us 4 pair to try out, 2 pair of recovery socks, and 2 pair of running socks. Awesome!

I met Robin for a 2 hour trail run and she was running in her recovery socks (for her review click here). I looked in the package and my first impression was that these are some pretty cool looking socks. But this ain't no fashion show, they have to perform. Initially I was concerned about the running socks because I am very particular regarding my socks. I was relieved when I actually had hands on. Thin socks are not my cup of tea, the thickness of these running socks was comparable to my normal socks.

We had a great run and when I got home I decided that I was recovering so it was as good a time as any to try out the recovery socks. I pulled them out of the package and thought they looked to small to go on my foot. After some rolling and tugging I got them on, and found them to be snug enough for me to know they were there but I didn't feel like they were too tight. Normally after long runs my calves stay pretty tight, and my family likes to make fun of the way I walk. Wearing these socks I noticed a significant improvement. The socks aren't magic but so far they have worked pretty well. After wearing them all day long my calves definitely felt less tight.

The running socks have performed really well for me. I have had the opportunity to wear them on a few different occasions now and have found them to be very comfortable. They provide the cushion that I like without being too heavy or hot. The true test of the running socks will be this weekends back to back long runs.

Training Notes 1/31/10 (Honey Stinger Review)

Another 20 degree January weekend and it seems like spring will never come. But training doesn’t stop for bad weather. The workouts for this weekend were planned to experiment with some new fueling strategies. During a 2.5 hr mountain bike ride on Saturday I tried out two new energy bars, both from Honey Stinger. The two flavors I had along in my pack were Apple-Cinnamon and Peanut Butter-n-Honey. About an hour into the ride I tried the apple-cinnamon bar, it smelled and tasted great, but the texture wasn’t what I expected. I suspect it was the subfreezing temperatures. I will have to try them again on a warmer day. At the end of the ride I ate a peanut butter n honey bar as a recovery snack. These are good, and have a chocolate bottom layer.
Back out again on Sunday, same weather conditions, but today is a trail run. Let me preface these notes by saying: I have never been a fan of gels. They always seem to be a nasty runny consistency and leave a taste/coating that has to be rinsed out with several drinks of water. Despite my doubts, I stuck a Ginsting Honey Stinger Gel in my water bottle zipper pouch to try. About an hour and 20 minutes into the run, I was feeling the energy drain. So I sucked down the Ginsting Gel. Tastes great and gives almost instant energy. It didn’t leave that bad taste or consistency that other gels had. It’s thick and tastes like honey, these will definitely be included in future races. I will never buy another brand of gel again. These are light years ahead of any other I have tried.

February 4, 2010

Recovery Sock Notes

I had heard great things about Recovery socks, but I had never tried a pair. So this past weekend was a long workout weekend for me and I decided to try wearing a pair of Recovery socks. Now, I had heard differing opinions from people on how to use the socks for the best results. Some said wear them during the workout while others suggested I wear them after the workout. So I decided to wear them during the workout. I wore them during a 2 hour run and I was pleasantly surprised, when I realized just how good my legs felt during and after the run. What a big difference there was from running without them and running wearing them. My legs were less fatigued from wearing them. They were so great that I decided to wear them while riding my bike, so the next day I wore them on a two hour mountain bike ride, same outcome my legs felt great. I am a true believer now. I will wear the socks on any long workout.

Next up, I will try wearing them after the workout and see if I can feel benefit from just lounging in them after a long workout. I would also like to see what the benefit will be on short workouts or wearing them during races.

February 2, 2010

Rider of the Year Award

This just in…

Announcement from ST Louis Cycling Club

2009 Rider of the Year Award goes to Robin Rongey

Club President Jim Murry presented the award to Robin during the Club Banquet on January 30th.

We caught up with Robin at her home the day after receiving the trophy to ask her what her reaction to the news was. Robin said “I am stunned and elated about receiving this award and I will work hard this season to live up to this honor”. We asked Robin for a peek at the trophy and snapped a picture of her holding it.

***** 2/2/2010 AP release *****