Paramedic Mike

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Review @TeamTiux Compression Socks; not just selling socks but doing social good as well!

Have you heard of the compression sock company Tiux?  Well don’t be worried if you haven’t because I didn’t either up until a few weeks ago!  That’s when Heather Gardner from Run Soul Cycle held a give away on her Instagram profile to win a pair!

https://instagram.com/p/4W66q-mZjR/

TBH I had only entered the contest to support Heather, totally not even thinking I would win!  But low and behold  a few weeks later I was notified that I was the winner of a pair of their socks!

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I immediately went to their website to see what they were all about and what colors they had.  Except when I got there I didn’t immediately go to the shop section of the website. Right away I was drawn to the Tiux 1% Social Mission section.  I am a big fan of companies doing social good and love supporting the ones that do!  So when I read that Tiux:

will donate 1% of our revenue to help save lives and protect communities from landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other weapons remaining after conflict

by partnering with MAG (Mines Advisory Group), I was even more happy that I had won these socks!  Mind you since my socks prob came from their marketing budget I don’t think the 1% came from my socks; I am hoping that by writing this some of you will check out their socks and buy a pair 🙂

Now onto the socks!  After a quick look at their “Why Graduated Compression Socks” you can see that they provide:

  1. Muscle Stabilization
  2. Enhanced Proprioception
  3. Increase Arterial Inflow
  4. Increase venous return

After reading this I don’t know why I didn’t try compression socks before.  Seemed like a no-brainer to me!  The Tiux business model is a little different that some other fitness apparel companies that you may be used to.  Everything they do is centered around keeping the cost to the consumer at a minimum.  They offer 3 colors Black/Neon Yellow/Dark Grey, Neon Yellow/Blue/Black, and Pink/Neon Yellow/Lavender.  They sell directly to you online (you wont see them in any stores) and  they cut out the wholesalers and distributors.  The best part is they don’t charge you shipping!  So what do you call that? A win-win-win? lol

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As for my experience, I’m not gonna lie, I was was checking the mailbox like everyday to see if they’d shown up! lol  Then the sexy black box finally showed up!  Not gonna lie I was super excited to finally give these things a whirl.  I tried them first while doing 10k on our local high school track then a few days later on a 15k long run.  At first I thought that since they were such a slippery material that I would be sliding out of my shoe.  I did have to tighten my shoes a little more than usual since they are a little less bulky than my reg socks but not once did I never slipped out of my heal.  Once I had them on they immediately felt like a second skin to me and my lower legs felt more stable and secure.  I am very lucky in that I have never had issues with my arch, tendons, or my calf’s but I would imagine that these would work extremely well for that with their added stability.  Running with them on my long run felt extremely well.  My legs felt lighter and it was like I couldn’t really feel them at all but not in a bad way, like they were going numb or something, just like they weren’t there.  I usually don’t have any issues with recovery I guess because my long runs really haven’t gotten that long yet but I’m really confident in the science behind these that It will aid me in that department.

I am really looking forward to future runs in these socks and I anticipate buying another pair in the future!

Do you own a pair or compression socks? What do you think?

If you do buy I pair od Compression Socks from Tiux I’d love to hear what you think as well!

Until then run happy and #KeepSmilin 🙂

This just in!!! I can offer all my readers a discount of 10% off your next purchase! But hurry this code is only valid until July 31st 2015!
Click here!

Special @RunCRS #STWM run & @TwitterCanada visit with @ChrisDoyle #OCanada

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Well what can I say!  This would have to be one of my most favourite fields trips!  A once in a lifetime opportunity! I am so thankful to the people at Canada Running Series for making this happen.  All the #STWM Digital Champions and Community Leaders were invited for an exclusive invite only run and tour of Twitter Canada HQ followed by a presentation from Chris Doyle the Director of Media leading Twitter’s partnerships for Canada in TV, sports, news, music, gov and more.

The evening started with me taking the GoTrain and man am I ever thankful I made that decision!  There were others that chose to drive and because of awful traffic and collisions on the highway they were not able to fully attend:(

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The train got me real close to our secret destination downtown and it was only a short 10min power walk!  Turned out to be a nice warm up before the run!  Although have you ever tried to walk quickly in Birkenstocks?  Its no easy feet feat and I felt my shins start to tighten up a little!   Thankfully I got there early enough to stretch them and change into my runners!

Next up it was a brief welcome from Race Director Alan Brookes and a description of the run and route from Community Leader Willaim Chaupiz from Night Terrors Run. Then we were off!

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Its not always easy to run through the busy streets of Toronto for a suburb runner like me but I was able to hold my own run ahead and snap this quick shot 🙂

The run went well at a nice pace (check out my Garmin data Garmin Connect)  with a few stops for traffic lights and most importantly photo ops!

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When the run was complete and high fives given we moseyed on over to the uber secret location to meet with Chris Doyle.   Once inside, the perfect post run spread of food and snacks was waiting for us; bonus!  Many of us were meeting each other face to face for the first time so this was a great chance for us to introduce ourselves, mingle and, of course, snap some more pics!

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Colour matched jelly beans and a branded toaster in their lunch room!

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This looked like the perfect spot to lay down right after my run

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Man did we ever press Chris to keep these mugs but alas they were for staff only and not to be removed 😦

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If I worked here I would never eat breakfast at home again!

Then it was time for Chris’ presentation!

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Chris did an amazing job of presenting some Twitter best practices, his involvement with Twitter Canada’s sports partnerships, and, an introduction to their new app Periscope.  Periscope is an app where you can live broadcast any event you like!  This is the next level of SM sharing.  So now instead of text or picture based post you can now bring people right into your world with sound and video!  I am very excited about the future possibilities of this!  I can foresee many people broadcasting parts of their #STWM  race or even the triumph and reunions at the finish line.  The possibilities of this really are endless and subject only to the limits of your imagination!

Next it was time to tour the rest of their office!

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obligatory selfie with Chirs Doyle

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Selfie of a Selfie with Dawn @inkdgirl55

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Group shot on the Twitter couch

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Some of you might recognize this controversial dress…… its blue and black! This adorns the wall in one of their break-out rooms

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Twitter branded gumballs to keep the people in the lab happy 🙂

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High fives for a great day and for a @Unicef #HighFiveIt campaign

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Amazing day capped with a group shot in front of Twitter Canada’s signature hashtah sign

 Once again thank you to Twitter Canada for inviting us into your home!  Thank you Canada Running Series for orchestrating this and accepting me as a digital champion!  I’m really looking forward to sharing my first marathon journey and interacting with other #STWM runners! 10446674_463853833790016_8674201951774378793_n

Running with the @jlr_toronto for a special kind of Personal Best

When I think about a personal best for my runs it usually revolves around a new shorter time for a distance, a new total distance, or a better pace.  But what if there was a different kind of personal best? One that’s more satisfying, more exhilarating and more gratifying.  Bring on the Justice League Runners and their campaign to run while raising money for The Hospital Sick Children in Toronto.

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While training for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k myself and my good friend Matt Small had come up with a race goal of sub 45min.  As time went on and my training runs became quicker and quicker I had gotten very excited that this possible new personal best could actually become a reality!

Though my experience with being a Digital Champion for this race I had the great pleasure of meeting a whole bunch of runners I had never known about before.  One of those people was JP Hernandez.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the true super hero powers of JP.  He truly inspired me with his charisma, humility and down to earth welcome everyone with open arms personality.  In 2013 JP ran the Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon as Batman and raised money for SickKids hospital.  In just 2 short years JP’s marathon run as Batman has evolved in something AMAZING!  The Justice League Runners. It didn’t take me long to decide that this was something I wanted to be a part of!  I contacted JP asking him if I could participate and he quite enthusiastically welcomed me into his League!  SickKids already holds a special place in my heart for me and my family so I was quite excited to be a part of a team raising money for Sick Kids Foundation.  If you would like to read more about JP’s journey to the creation of the Justice League Runners I really recommend you click here.

I have been finding it quite difficult to put into words the feelings I had on race day, April 19th 2015, but I will do my best 🙂  The morning started with the excitement of meeting many of the runners I had only conversed with through Twitter and Facebook.  There were many pictures taken, many hellos, and many high fives.  I always love the time before a run as I meet running friends both new and old and just the camaraderie that takes place as people mill around.

Coral #Runfie

Coral #Runfie

We assembled ourselves into our coral talked about how we were all going to stay together and do our very best to put a smile of every single kid  (and adult for that matter) we came across.

Aprox 3-4 km into the run we were approached by a runner and mom who said her daughter had been a patient of SickKids.  She went of to say that her daughter would be cheering her on father down the course and asked if we might give her a wave as we ran by.  Well that’s not what what we were going to do!  When we got tot he corner of Yonge and Bloor all 15 of us stopped gave her a high five and asked if she would stand for a picture with us!  Mom showed up just as we were getting the pictures taken by grandma.  The look of sheer gratitude and emotion on all 3 of their smiling faces was something I don’t think I will ever forget and I have a pretty good feeling that little girl will never forget either!  This was proof right there that we were up to something magical!

We continued down the rest of the course high-fiving and stopping for pics with any and all the kids we saw along the route.  The cheers from the spectators and volunteers at the water stations was exhilarating.  As we neared the end of the run I found myself a little sad that this train was coming to an end but I soon realized this was not the end it was merely stop on the journey.  This train has a long road ahead of it with many stops to make, more smiles to induce and money raised to help kids in need.

In the end I was left with a whole new sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and inspiration.  It was a whole new kind of personal best for me!  One that I will cherish forever.  One that I hope to better as my running career continues!  You can still donate by visiting my page here.

All this could not be possible without these amazing members of the team I ran with!  I encourage you to follow them on their social networks!

JP Hernandez aka Batman — Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Instagram

Steve Layton aka Green Lantern — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Luc Ippersiel aka Green Arrow — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Maria Lalla aka Batgirl — TwitterWebsiteInstagram

Michelle Clark aka Batgirl — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Amber-Lynn Renton aka Batwoman — Twitter, Instagram

Heather Gardner aka Super Woman — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Michael Losinger aka Superman — Twitter, Instagram

Laura Eng aka Lady Green Lantern — Twitter, Instagram

Todd Chretien aka The Flash — Facebook

Big thanks to Canada Running Series the family and friends of all the runners as well as all the volunteers for all their support; this couldn’t have happened without them!

I’ll leave you with this one picture that I think is an amazing representation for the day.  I little boy approached us after the race with a super excited voice saying “CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!!”

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#KeepSmilin 🙂

Running the #PrincessHalf with my Princess

It was finally time for the Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and just like our Wine and Dine experience we were certainly not disappointed!

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430 am we arrived at All Star Music though some crazy rain and hydro-plaining but safe and sound

We drove down again this time with just the 4 of us and because of that, we made really good time!  So, silly us, we thought “hey we could spend money on a hotel somewhere in South Carolina or Georgia or we could just split up the last 8hrs of driving and stay at Disney an extra night”!  One quick call to The Disney Travel Company and BAM a room would be waiting for us upon our new arrival date!

Ahh the health and wellness expo! This is beginning to be one of our favourite parts of runDisney weekends!  We always start our racecations with this and we always get to meet our favourite people!.  This time, however, was extra special because we took the time to meet and speak with Jeff Galloway the training guru for runDisney.

None other than the famous Jeff Galloway

None other than the famous Jeff Galloway

The expo is always filled with lots of cool running stuff!  You could literally spend a whole day there!  I esp like meeting my new running peeps and checking out the runDisney branded gear for the run!

My favorite purchase from the expo!

My favorite purchase from the expo!

Its going to take a long time to get through this!

Its going to take a long time to get through this!

The shoes!  The shoes!

The shoes! The shoes!

An autograph from Jeff Galloway!

An autograph from Jeff Galloway!

As always, a trip to Disney would not be complete without a meet up with Carrie Burrows from www.carrieburrows.com and Kristin Long from BamagirlRUNS

Gotta love Carrie and her #TeamBlurrySelfie pics!

Gotta love Carrie and her #TeamBlurrySelfie pics!

Ok so enough about the expo lets talk about the #PrincessHalf!

It's almost time!  I'm only really pretending to be nervous runDisney events always fun!

It’s almost time! I’m only really pretending to be nervous runDisney events always fun!

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This was our first time running early in the morning!  Kinda sucks setting the alarm for for 330 but not totally unusual for two shift workers!  We got up, got dressed, ate some protein bars and headed over to Epcot.  Wish I had eaten some more! I found myself quite hungry for the last few miles;  very thankful for the Gu stations near the end!   Now that we’ve done this once before it was not so overwhelming to see the mass of people, the stages, the rows and rows of porta potties and the line for bag check.  We did not have any bags to check thankfully so we picked a spot and plopped ourselves down on what used to be a section of parking lot for Epcot.  My wife began to stretch her hurting knee 😦 and I just paced around back and forth.  I always find myself so excited before a half marathon that I cant sit still on the ground or stand in one place.  Some distraction; a text from Carrie that she was in the holding area as well!  “Who-Who” Time for a pre-race selfie!

With that it was off to the sea of porta-potties and into our coral!  They gotta find a better word for these holding areas!  It just perpetuates the feeling of being a bunch of animals being herded into a pen!  This is the place where you get your music ready, head phones on, all your clothes (costumes) adjusted and wait for your turn to start!  Each Disney race has many corals that all start in succession to one another spaced by about 10 mins or so.  As each coral starts the next one is moved up to the starting line.  And in true Disney fashion each coral starts with a bang!  Literally!

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And with the #PrincessHalf is underway!

A post shared by Mike Influencer Blogger Runner (@paramedic_mike) on

As you can see it is still quite dark out and the first coral gets started at aprox 530am but it doesn’t take long for the sun to come out and light the way!  The first few miles are pretty uneventful as you leave the Epcot parking lot and head along the roadways that interconnect the parks.  Somewhere between mile 1 and mile 2 was a character spot for Jack Sparrow.  We decided not to stop at this point since it felt like we had just and really the line was just too long!  Thankfully we didn’t since we found out that we would be running right by them again on our way back!  Mile 2-3 was Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope; again didn’t stop.  Next was all the evil queens together in one spot!  We had to stop and get a pic here:

While we were waiting in line for this one I noticed Brittney Smith from Main Street Memories. I stopped her and we chatted for a bit but now I’m kicking myself for not getting a pic with her cause she is awesome!!  After we got our pic with the evil queens we carried on running through the expansive Magic Kingdom parking lot.  We then began to hear some of the most amazing drumming we have ever heard and saw this!

"Just needs a little more cowbell" please tell you me you get the reference

“Just needs a little more cowbell” please tell you me you get the reference

This is just one of the many reasons we love running runDisney races!  Disney just does such a dam great job entertaining you!  Next it we ran past the Contemporary resort and entered the park via some secret employee entrance I’ve never seen before.  Magic Kingdom has now opened and there are seas and seas on spectators cheering us on!  No words can describe that feeling of running through Magic Kingdom and having all those people cheering you on!  I heard lots of “Who-Who” (I think I was the only Oaken on the course btw SCORE! {props to my wife for the idea}) and wonderful cheers of encouragement!.  After running up Main Street you make the right turn into Tomorrow Land where there was a character stop with Buzz Lightyear. We trudged onwards across the top of the park so as to enter the Castle from the rear side.  What an amazing sight; Elsa Anna and Kristof were standing at the top of the Castle waving a cheering everyone on.  They even took the time to have a conversation with me!  I think they liked the costume ;).  Don’t ask me why I didn’t take a selfie with them in the background!!  I must have been too distracted with the castle and they fact that those 3 were just talking to me from the balcony lol! There are no words to describe running through the castle as a #DisneyDad and runner other than to just experience it!.  We stopped for a big hug, a few kisses and a selfie and we continued on!

Photo bombed!  no time to wait for people to clear!  theres a big line to get pics here!

Photo bombed! no time to wait for people to clear! theres a big line to get pics here!

From here on you run towards the outside of Magic Kingdom through Frontierland where you could stop for a pic with the locomotive from the Walt Disney World Railroad.  This section along Floridian way is quite boring esp being this far into the race but at least they had members of Reedy Creek Fire Department posted at one spot along to route cheering us on and “Protecting the Magic” as they say 🙂

Had to google search for this pic; credit to https://smilesthroughmiles.wordpress.com/

From researching this pic I discovered that this was the halfway point of the race; We were still feeling great here.  Again one would think that me being a Paramedic and being a friend of Jeff Armstrong I would have snapped a pic here but sadly I failed again lol.  Onward!  From here on out the route follows the roads and is not through and Park.  So to keep you motivated there are more character stops: the Glass Slipper, the Gene in his vacation outfit with a Mickey Golf Cart, the Princess and Jack Sparrow with Barbosa.

Some of the Princess were more interested in out selfie than the professinal photographer!

Some of the Princess were more interested in our selfie than the professional photographer!

I thin Sparrow is plotting a way to plunder my Princess

I think Sparrow was plotting a way to plunder my Princess

From here on in its the last push along the roads that lead back to Epcot helped along by a Toy Story soldier ordering everyone to keep going!  The  section with the Children’s Miracle Network cheer squad had some really amazing encouraging and uplifting signs just before the entrance!  You enter Epoct and there’s a character stop for Sophia the Worst uh Last uh I mean first :). Keep running!  Lots of cheering from spectators at Ecpot as well; it was very uplifting and motivating!  Disney fans are amazing!!  From here you run past the Ball to the beginning of the world showcase.  We ended up seeing Carrie and Bama run past us going the other direction.  This very encouraging for us since this meant we were running a great race time even with the stops that we had taken.  We met them again at the choir and stopped for another selfie with them 🙂

Prise the Lord we’re almost done! Thanks for the pic Carrie

Now its a very short run to the finish line where Mickey is there to cheer you on and give highfives!

 

As usual we were blown away by the Quality of the medals!

As usual we were blown away by the quality of the medals!

The next morning you go to the park and show off your medal

The next morning you gotta go to the park and show off your medal

 

Starbucks and a Medal!

Starbucks and a Medal! Note the name on the cup 🙂

at Splash Mountian

at Splash Mountian

at Splash Mountain

at Splash Mountain

Gotta show the bling off at the Castle with our bestie!

So in review I really don’t have anything bad to say about this race!  It was yet another amazing memorable experience with my amazing Princess wife that I will cherish forever!  The whole experience was amazing from start to finish, for all aspects!  The one thing I would change is to stop and take more pics to enjoy/remember the experience after.  We did make more stops this time under the advice of Carrie and very thankful for that but in hind-site now I don’t think we stopped enough.  We paid enough to be there for the race and to have the characters out we may as well enjoy it!

Well how bout you?  Did you run #PrincessHalf? Have you ever run a runDisney event before?  Do you have any questions about a runDisney race?  Let me know in the comments section.

#KeepSmilin 🙂

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