Injinji Sock Review

First off, I want to state I am in no way affiliated with Injinji, and all the products I own have been given to me by friends or purchased myself. This post is strictly my own personal views on the product.

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I first heard of Injinji Socks from a friend on twitter who had a post on Instagram (yay social media) and asked what the heck she was wearing. She had on these funky toe socks and I thought they were unusual. Lisa explained they were what she wore running and she loved them. So, being me, and liking things that are a bit different, I looked into them.

I am a toe scruncher. I hate wearing socks because they never feel right and cause me blisters and callouses on my feet. So my first thought was… Why not?

This was back in August of 2013, and to this day I do not run, or even most days go to work without wearing these socks. I love them! I will admit it took me a bit to get used to them on my feet, but the best part??? Post run flip flops can be worn with them!

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There are different types of weights to the socks, which I didn’t at first realize. Most of what I had were lightweight, and unfortunately as much as I love the low cut no show aspect of the ones I have, they are too thin for me. The last few races I have had, the pad of my big toe has been extremely sore. Turns out I have more or less worn through the bottom of almost all my lightweight socks. And I really haven’t put that many miles on them in my opinion.

Recently I received 3 pairs of original weight, and wore my first pair during BMO half marathon the other week. No pain. No soreness on my feet, they felt great. Having a bit extra padding for me is what I need, so I will be switching over and replacing as I go along with original weight. It’s what works for me.

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Recently someone mentioned to me this wonderful thing called trail socks by Injinji. Since the rest of my season is more or less going to be spent on the trails, I figured I should get a sock that actually helped my feet. Especially since these runs are when My feet tend to hurt the worst. So I grabbed 2 pairs and was given a pair by my friend.

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This weekend was the 2nd time I got out in my trail socks. It was a wet day, and with it being a race, I ran through the water instead of pussyfooting around it. Besides the fact the balls of my feet were happy, my feet stayed warm. Within minutes of getting them drenched in the water, my feet were back to being dry and happy. I had no blisters, or felt any sort of discomfort whatsoever. In fact, post race when I went to take my feet out of my shoes steam was rising from them. STEAM!! And yet my feet felt perfectly fine the whole run.

So my verdict? Well worth the money. I paid $18/pair for my trails and $12/pair for my light weight. I am looking next at investing in a pair of compression injinji’s for some road races, but for now I am pleased with what I have.

I will say that with still being a rookie runner more or less, I am still coming upon products I like, and swear by. For me, I can’t see these socks not being a part of my running attire ever.

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Golden Ears 5 Peaks

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So let me tell you about this shirt… This shirt was what you got for buying a 5 Peaks Season Pass, which is all 5 races for the season in a discount bundle, which I was beyond excited for last November. So excited, in fact, that I found a back door way to register before registration was officially open. Apparently it caused a bit of…. Excitement? Sorry guys!

Anyhow this shirt was what I snagged at the first race of the 2014 season at Golden Ears Park. Having run the orientation a few weeks before, and after my little “breakdown” over BMO I played it safe and went with the 8km Sport course race day. We also received this kickass Buff as our race swag. Seriously best swag ever!’

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Race day started out cold, wet and dreary. In other words, I was stoked. I was glad to not be stressed about the time and just to get out and enjoy myself. It’s always nice to not to feel the need to race the clock, and instead just enjoy yourself.

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We started out in small waves, more or less you segment yourself to how you feel you will do, with both Enduro and Sport leaving together. I think I went mid pack, with Krista, Stephanie and a bunch of others. Krista ran off ahead of me, and I just started off glad to be out on the trails.

We hit the first water crossing and like any delicate lady, I ran right through it getting my socks and shoes soaked. Krista was there waiting for me, so we decided we would run together. She told me a few times to go ahead, and I had no desire. We ran BMO together and dammit we were going to run this together too.

Muddy shoes, muddy legs, and awesome climbs. After a while I am not sure if it stopped raining or I just didn’t notice it.

But the one thing that didn’t go away? I had to pee. And when I get bouncing downhill, it gets bad. Finally on the last 2ish km of the course there was a trail that branched to the right, and I told Krista I would be back. Only a few of the runners directly behind me started to follow me, instead of seeing the go straight signs. Nothing says embarrassment like telling someone you are running off course to pee.

With that done, away we trudged for the last few km’s. We crossed the finish line at 1:20:02 and it was great!

I always find 5 Peaks races to be well organized, with amazing volunteers, tons of hugs and encouragement. I also love how on the trails, everyone who passes you shouts encouragement and tells you what an awesome job you are doing. It’s amazing really.

So my verdict for this race? Gorgeous scenery, excellent organization and kickass swag. I’ve also managed to obtain a bunch of 5 Peaks swag over the last year….

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So if you haven’t tried trails, do it! Enjoy them and get off the road. Muddy legs required.

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BMO Half Marathon – my non PB that was

BMO is always going to be a race that holds a special spot in my heart, as it was my first half marathon in 2013. I really enjoy the course, as it has a good downhill to start, pretty scenic and let’s face it the medals are pretty nice. The downside of it was the price, and this year when they sent out the email over it, I looked at the cost and thought, “nope… I am not going to do it.”

Krista mentioned in Vegas that she had dropped down to the half at BMO instead of doing the full, and if I was running we should run together. I knew Krista was quicker than I, and with knowing the course I figured we would be able to pace me to a PB.

I wasn’t too willing to pay the price of $119 at this point so instead I bought someone’s bib who was not able to run. Did I mention that I decided to sign up a week before the race, and this was going to be my 3rd half in 3 weeks? (More on my stupidity afterwards)

Sunday was pouring rain. I was lucky enough to be able to spend the night with my amazing friend Candice downtown so I didn’t have to stress on parking and how to get to the start from Langley. I took a cab to the start line. I originally planned on wearing my short sleeve shirt, but with how bad the rain was coming down, I threw on my long sleeve Nike shirt before gear check, and kept the short sleeve overtop.

Gear check went smooth and quick. Stupidly I packed my phone without letting Krista know where I was going to meet her so panic set in. It seemed everyone who I knew was able to spot me, and then finally Krista, Stephanie and I met up. Krista took this quick selfie of us, and it’s the only shot we got.

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The pace bands we had were for 2:22 which gave a buffer for my PB, so I was feeling nervous, and at the same time excited. We started off down Cambie Street which is always so incredible. When you look for 4km and all you can see is a sea of runners, it’s surreal and awestruck. Our pace was quick, much quicker than what I was used to and my legs felt heavy. We skipped our first walk break to take advantage of the hills.

And then came the naked chicks. Yep, you heard me. 2 ladies whom I hope to heck were still drunk were pressed against the window of their apartment waving. My first thought? “Damn, I wish my body looked that good.”

And that’s more or less where things started to fall apart. My stomach was hurting, my legs were heavy and I felt like I was fighting a headwind the whole way. I don’t remember much of the course. I remember Krista being beside me and so positive and telling me we were doing amazing. I kept looking at my watch and checking how we were doing pace wise. I kept trying to be positive, but deep down I knew it wouldn’t happen.

We hit Stanley Park, and the course goes through the Park instead of the SeaWall so you don’t always know where you are. When we hit 16k, I pulled over to the side and started dry heaving. If there would have been anything besides GU in my stomach, I probably would have thrown up. Krista was amazing. She kept saying we were going to finish, but she made sure I set a pace that I could handle. We walked a lot more than I would have wanted. I had to stop probably 3 other times to heave, and I worried that maybe something with my hernia was acting up. (Thankfully my surgeon said no, it’s just pushing my body too hard, so one less stress removed)

We hit the last stretch of the course, and I felt like lead. At this point there was no PB for this race. My goal was to cross upright and hopefully under 2:30. Krista never left my side. She stuck by me through my struggles and kept positive and telling me how awesome I was doing. I cannot express how much this meant to me, having her stick by my side no matter what. We crossed together, got our medals, grabbed our gear and I got changed. At this point I was thinking I should take myself to emergency at Richmond Hospital. Krista was ready to drive me, but I ended up just coming home, and emailed my surgeon rather than go when it might have been nothing.

When I got on the SkyTrain, I called my Dad and cried. I was heartbroken over not reaching a PB, and how bad I struggled and feeling like I had let Krista down with not pushing myself harder. I was devastated over how I could barely move, and I felt like I had been hit by a semi truck full force. I couldn’t walk down the stairs without going sideways, and I was wet, miserable and just done.

More or less, my body was done. I should have never ran BMO. Sometimes I do not listen to my body when it is telling me things, and I think I can do everything. In the last 2.5 years I have underwent 3 massive surgeries. I have ran 8 half marathons, and started trail running as well. I have been burning the candle at both ends with poor sleep, poor diet, and not giving myself the time to recoup that I need.

I emailed Run For Water last night and said I couldn’t pace bunny the 2:30 half that I was supposed to be doing in 3 weeks. I woke up this morning with a dehydration migraine that was causing me to dry heave and not be able to see straight. I called in sick to work and stayed in bed for more or less 15 hours sleeping for almost all of it. Not to mention the 3 hour post run nap I took yesterday before bed as well.

Pure exhaustion on my part. Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing friends who made me feel a lot better last night. It’s amazing how we sometimes don’t see ourselves the way others do…

So instead of being down on not hitting a PB at BMO, I have decided to come away with this as being a PB in a different way. Last year I ran the course in 2:50:48. This year my official time was 2:29:36, which means for this course I set a PB of 21:12 in the span of a year. And that? Is pretty damned amazing. For how I felt to still be so close to my best time, is bloody awesome. And to have 8 half marathons under my belt in 365 days, with having 2 major surgeries which prevented me from running for almost 4 months, damned impressive.

I am going to race my 5 Peaks race this weekend. I will do the Sport instead of the Enduro and will start slowly training, both on the trails and improving my sleep and eating for Baker Lake on October 4. I will not be signing up for anything I am not already racing, and will listen to my body.

But next year? Next year I plan on kicking some major ass at BMO.

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