Friday, March 30, 2012

Second to Training... Equipment is Everything!

Before I started getting serious about running, last year sometime, I didn't really put much thought into my "equipment" for running besides my shoes. While shoes are very important I have come to find having specialty clothes exclusive for my running makes a large difference. As the distance I've gone had increased so has problems I've heard runners frequently encounter. Luckily I haven't had too many of the more nasty issues like toenails falling off, but chaffing is a real issue. AKA chub rub. Another issue I've had with "regular" clothes is the constant pulling and tugging that I used to do to keep my clothes down and covering my bouncing flab. Yeah, it's not attractive to have half my stomach in all it's glory. I'd rather have it covered, thanks, no wardrobe malfunctions wanted!
Above all, though, I would want other runners athletes, and weekend warriors to find what works best for them. What works for me may or may not work for you. But I hope this list is helpful to others who are looking for somewhere to start.
The most basic is what you actually wear. What I would wear on a training run is the same I'd wear out to a race. Namely I've come to LOVE running tights. I originally was a little hesitant about having a raging camel toe but it's not too bad. Yes, they're tight and with tight comes some spillage but it's worth it for the comfort. I like the Adidas Capri running tights. I like them because they hug and they don't slip down while I'm running. Since I have a dunlap (you know, when your stomach dun lapped your pants) it's pretty important to find something that will stay up while I'm running.
As for shirts I actually like plain t's. I get a little chaffing under my arms with them but it's worth it IMO. It's hard to find wicking fabric shirts that don't ride up while I run. Nike's pro sports ones come close but they show every last drop of rolls I've got. Yeah... so for races I like "inspirational" shirts. My favorite that I wear a LOT says "Strong, Beautiful, ME". I'm sure if you've been on my facebook page or know me in life you've seen it. Other than inspirational shirts I like the walmart Danskin Now yoga line for shirts. I wear a sports bra underneath but I like to look somewhat cute when I run. Well as cute as a hippo charging after you can possibly look.
As I stated before shoes are of the utmost importance. I haven't really gotten into minimalist running although I'm starting to. You want to make sure that your shoes are flexible and can bend when you bend them. Shoes that do not bend when you try to fold them in half are too cushioned for runners. Although I'm sure there are many runners who uses as my friend calls them "Cushiony beasts" they don't promote proper form. I like Nikes to run mostly. Although I have used both New Balance and Sauccony. Go to a running store and have them evaluate you for shoes, this will be your best chance to get the best fit for your stride. My next step will be to try vibrams 5 fingers or the Skeletoes. I haven't gotten that brave yet!
For the ladies bras are pretty important. Don't want to get a black eye. Now I'm not very well endowed so I have a lot more options out there than many others. But to keep it brief I like two kinds of bras. Either the Danskin Now high impact sports bras that zip up the middle OR the Adidas sports bras for high impact. I like those puppys to stay in place!
Anything other than what I've already explained are "extra". They're nice to have but definitly not essential. I love head wraps. I use the Nike sweat bands. They keep my hair in place and sweat out of my face!
Socks can be pretty important as well. I like the Adida's brand for socks they kind of grip in the middle so your socks don't come falling down!
Now I went for a while on the search for the perfect earbuds that weren't going to cost an arm and leg. The ones I've found work the best you can get from Walmart (I'm sure you have found out by now I like Walmart HA!) They're Philips brand and they have earhooks. About $17 at walmart!
My parting advice here is to do what works for you. If you're lost in the woods use what I've outlined as a base but don't be afraid to try new things. Every body and running type is different. So branch out, try something new, and you may find your runs to be a bit easier!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harder... Faster... Stronger...

Great run today. It was still quite wet so I didn't go to the playground. But I will this week. So I completed week 1. I think I'm going to skip to week 3 or 4 because I felt quite strong after the typical pain ended. You see I get pain in my legs up until the 3rd mile or so and then it stops and I can go on pretty strong. Today it only lasted until, perhaps, the first mile. After that I felt great and even bumped up my "cruising" speed a bit. I'm getting faster on the shorter runs. I'm sure my soon for a 5k I'll come in under 35 mins. My goal eventually will be sub 30. That'd be sweet.

I'm going to start taking my son on my walks because the next race I do there's a kiddie race. It's a 1/2 k. The plan will be that I will take Maggie along in the stroller for the 5k race. Will's excited so I want to make sure he can do it competitively.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rest Days Are Cool

Today was a rest day... well rest from running anyway HA! When you have a preschooler and a toddler no days are for rest. Haven't been able to get to the gym once this week. I went back to work and my work schedule sucks. It won't be for long though as my last day is April 12th. Hopefully everything works out well for scheduling after that. If not, at least my gym's open 24 hours! Something I'm definitly going to have to utilize soon.

I found an awesome playground that will help with my Tough Mudder training. I'm going to go check it out tomorrow if it's not too wet. Either way I have a "long" run of 2 miles tomorrow according to my training schedule. Unlike before, though, I will not be counting my warm up walk as part of the 2 miles. That just doesn't seem right since before my half I was doing long runs 5 miles and up.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I... Was... Run-ing

Seriously, though. Maybe I just needed to be back on a program but my running legs have returned to me. Sweet baby Jesus I was running at a good pace too! Started Jeff Galloway's 10k plan yesterday. It called for a 20-25 min run. I'm not going to lie I psyched myself out by telling myself I was a pussy if I couldn't complete it (Yep, called myself a cat). So I set Bunny, my beloved Garmin watch, and went off. I reset her after my walking warm up was complete and told myself "20 mins, I can do this". And I did. And that was that. Awesome. Good pace, did a little over 1.5 miles at a 12 min/ mile pace. That's about a minute slower than my race pace so I'm on track. YAY.

I can't tell you how beyond happy I was to not have to walk any of it. This week's cross training is Zumba. The lady at the Zumba studio actually had a nice conversation with me about my diet. It was so nice to have someone sit down with me and comb over everything. She suggested "shocking" my system by changing everything. So I have. And it's "worked" I've noticed quite a bit of water weight coming off. Although I'm focused more on health than size it's nice to see that there are always areas where I can improve.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Running er.... Walking my way...

Whelp it's official my endurance is SHOT. I went on a long "run" today of 4 miles. I walked most of it. I think part of it is I really am tired and part of it is no inspiration. I have nothing keeping me on track right now. I can barely run a mile. Which is not like me at all. So I'm hoping that the 10k training program will get my fat butt back on track and will inspire me to continue to run.

I did a lot of introspection today. More coming to terms with the fact that I am fat, I am in menopause, and there's not a damn thing I can do with it.

I've been overweight my whole life... even at my lowest weight around 140 I was still in the "overweight" catagory. I've been feeling kind of down about my weight lately because I haven't been able to shave any pounds off in like a year. But then I have to remind myself of where I came from and know that where I am now, even at the same weight, is a better place than where I was. It's been 4 years since I started my journey and I have been able to keep off over 50lbs! I'm at the point now where I'm not too worried about weight and am focusing on fitness goals. Such as running a marathon at the end of this year.

I guess my point in all of this is that you can stay at the same weight for a year or more and still be in a better place. That weight isn't the end all be all. I started couch to 5k last year. I never dreamed that I'd be able to complete a half marathon less than a year later. Don't let that scale get ya down ladies! Remember that you're doing awesome just by having the mindset that you will make healthier choices

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Two Week Wait

So according to Jeff Galloway one should rest one day for every mile ran in a big event before running hard again. For me that would be 13 days, almost two weeks. That time is OVER as of today! Yesterday I ran with my husband's cousin. Let me tell you that was a challenge. Two things: He's male with long legs. I'm female with super short ones. Not a great match up but still an enjoyable run. I just had to remind him to go slower. My comfort zone is a 13 min mile pace. On a good day it's 12. He wanted to go like 10. Yeah, challenge. Ended up walking a lot. I did like the company, though :D.

So next week big changes coming up! First, I'm going back to work after being on medical leave for three weeks. Second, I'm starting the 10k plan. I still have my half marathon plan hanging on my oven. I just don't have the heart to take it down yet.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Staying on track!

Day numero dos of going to the gym this week. I had an excellent workout, really cycled through things today, upper body and cardio. It's finally raining here so I did my two miles on the treadmill. I really don't like the treadmill but I'll take it over pouring rain. I hope it lets up a bit so that I can run outside this week, which is what I prefer.

Some days I find it frustrating, the struggle to stay active. There's really no visual incentive here to do so. I'm still the same weight I have been for a year. Not a single pound lost. Although I have gone down two sizes... I guess that's a plus. Weight loss to me has been such an issue this past year or so. After being able to drop 80 lbs after my first son it's maddening that I cannot drop these last 20 or so pounds to get back to where I was before. But I keep trucking, keep making those fitness goals and hope for the best. Obviously the hormone replacement therapy my endochrinologist has me on isn't helping in the weight loss department, we'll talk more about it when I see her again in a few weeks.

I think at this point what's the most frustrating is that since I'm not exercising for weight loss it's still assumed I am. I am not. I'm doing it because it feels good. I do it because it makes my body strong. I hate that I will always be taken for a stereotypical overweight person. Someone who busts ass at the gym just to go home and potatoe chips *stashes the brownie behind the computer*. I hate that as a person of larger size it's assumed that I SHOULD be exerciseing and SHOULD be ashamed of how I look. In most ways I am absoloutly not. I'm a strong, beautiful, resourceful woman. No one should be allowed to tell me otherwise. No one should make anyone ashamed of themsleves for their body size.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

For the Long Haul

I'm doing pretty awesome. Had a great 4 mile run today. My recovery has gone swimmingly and I am so glad that my body can bounce back as well as it has. Gives me hope that I can continue on without any bad repercussions. I've been very lucky in the sense that I have not had a single injury since I started running. The worst thing that's happened is that after the half I was exhausted and sore.

Tomorrows a day for weights and I'll be meeting up with my buddy in the morning. She said she wasn't much of a runner but since we are doing Tough Mudder in September I'm going to print her out a couch to 5k program. Not that she's couch ridden but because it's one of the most effective ways to get started with running. Speaking of programs, next week I will be starting a new one. I've chosen to step down a notch and do the 10 k program from Jeff Galloway. I will then do the half marathon for intermediate from Hal Higdon. I figure this is the best way to give my body some rest while also keeping up my miles.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

That Look On Your Face

Priceless. So I WAS looking forward to the professional pictures from the sports photography people. Yeah the two I was in are shit. See that horrid look on my face?
I think what kind of makes me mad is that I saw the dude with the camera, waved, smiled, paused so he could take it and he just chose not to. Annoying!
Anyway I did some circuit training with another woman who is going to do Tough Mudder with my gym's team. Super sweet woman, helped me a lot. See, the thing is for all the running I do I do not like strength training at all. But she showed me how to mix it up and I got an awesome workout in! I like that I found a workout buddy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another Easy Run

2 miles today! I felt awesome the whole time and I incorporated hills into it. The back of my knee hurts a bit now but I'm glad that I went. I also managed to get a blister on top of the blister on my big toe. Yay me. I'm trying to change up my eating habits and make them better too now. Cut the carbs a bit, increase protein, etc. I really want to be back down to a size 8 by summer. I'm a 12 ish now (depending on the cut a 14). So I bought a food scale and a real scale and am going to try to be more vigilant about my diet.

No Zumba tomorrow :( Going to be out of town but I did find someone, well two someones who may be good workout partners. One of them is doing Tough Mudder on my gym's team and she said I could join her and her friend during their morning workouts. I'm really looking forward to exercising with them tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another day of rest

Tuesday = a day of rest. Well, at least from exercise. I went to the children's museum in San Jose with my two kidletts and a wonderful mommy friend of mine. I think I got more of a workout chasing them around and driving 8 hours round trip. I reflected a bit on my running and my nutrtition during this trip. While on the surface it only benifits myself, I realize that my children are picking up my habits and I want them to be good ones. Drinking water, eating healthy-ish, and being active are things I want for them. Sometimes I feel as though I had to change my whole self to fit in an active lifestyle because while my mom sure did try it wasn't something that was a "normal" part of my life growing up. Junk food was a norm, lazy days were a norm, "easy" food... Don't get me wrong my mom put us in gymnasitcs and during my senior year we even worked out at the gym together but I feel that perhaps the emphasis was not on making it a lifestyle but rather exercise was only for weight loss and nothing else. I overheard my mom tell my gymnasitcs (btw, I freakin' sucked at gymnastics!) coach that she noticed I was losing weight. It made me feel as though that was the only benifit.

I hope my kids know that exercise is for fun too, as part of an overall lifestyle of healthy living. We'll see. I'm not perfect. I feed my kids nuggets some days ;)

Monday, March 5, 2012

The First Run

So today was recovery run day. I will be doing shorter runs for the next two weeks in order to give myself plenty of time to recover. So today's was almost 2 miles pushing my daughter in her stroller. I'm reminded of why I started running to begin with: so I could take my little ones with me. I'm also reminded of why after I started running the first time around why my arms looked great: stroller pushing! Unfortunately my newest little one does not have the running bug like Will does. So stroller runs will be few.

I also did some stretching today. Pilates is awesome for getting the kinks out. My legs feel a lot more "free" I am one of the few runners, though, who have not braved the foam roller. I can't seem to get the hang of it :/

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Day After

Oh.My.God. SORE! SORE! SORE! At least when I woke up I felt like I got hit by a mac truck. Didn't help that manchild decided to kick me out of bed at midnight and I didn't have the wherewithall to tell him "no" last night. So couch it was. Spent today recovering. Took an icy bath (just cold water, no ice), felt much better! Sat with my feet propped up all day watching David Tutera. Contemplating my next tattoo... an apple sitting on an apple blossom with the numbers 3.1 and 13.1 on the petels. I'll save the middle of the apple for 26.2 ;).

For those who don't know what the apple symbolizes I'll tell ya: The Goddess Atalanta, the goddess of running. See her dad wanted her to get married but she didn't want to. So she told him that the first person to beat her in a foot race would have her hand. Many tried, many failed. Then Melonion came along and asked the goddess Aphrodite for help. Aphrodite gave him golden apples to throw at her and during the run he threw them and she'd run after them. So he won, and she married him. That's the jist anyway.

Plans for the next week: will do some exercise tomorrow... probably a short walk or easy 2 mile run depending on how I feel. Or go to the gym and do some strength training. Need to get on a plan for that. Have already picked out my next plan: Hal Higdon's Half Marathon for Intermediate. I want to pick up my time before the Santa Rosa Half. Yes, I'm already contemplating my next big one!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My First Half... Recap!

So I did it! I officially ran a half marathon. And let me tell ya, I am TORE UP!
Let's start with last night. I tried to get some sleep. I really really tried. I fell asleep at 10 until 2am then couldn't get back to sleep until 3am. Slept until 5am and then I was up and ready to go! I took my son over to Denny's to get a proper breakfast. Unfortunately Super 8's "breakfast" is NOT gluten free. Asshats. Anyway, got breakfast, and got dressed, braided my hair, and headed to One Mile Rec area at Bidwell Park. The course was GORGEOUS! Very enjoyable scenary. I did a warm up jog with Will who was just as excited for the start as I was.
Lined up, Will lined up with me. Gun went off, Will tried to come with me LOL. Little guy wanted to race. Um, sorry Will! First 3 miles... OW. I found this out on my last long run as soon as I passed 3 miles I knew I'd be fine. For some reason my calves hurt super bad the first 3 but stopped after that. Cruised along between 12:40 and 13:40 minute miles for the first 6 miles. Chatted up two little ladies from Oregon. My plan was to stick with them, sweet ladies.
Unfortunately the last 6 miles were a challenge. A really.big.challenge. More Ow's. I just did each mile as I could focusing on my pace for each mile and not really thinking ahead of that. I did end up walking my last three miles or so. Getting up to a 15 minute mile pace. I didn't want to do that. In order to stay within my goal of 3 hours I would have had to do each mile under 14:40. Didn't happen. I'm not dissapointed though, I gave it my all. I crossed the finish line at 3 hours 4 minutes by my watch. I didn't get an official time... too tired. I'm exhausted. I'll post official time when they post it on their website.
More at!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Day Before

So I'm sitting here in my hotel room watching my almost 2 year old pull around her empty suitcase. We just got back from the park where the race will take place tomorrow. I also picked up my race packet (nice whicking shirt for this race, btw, none of that cotton BS) and signed Morgan and William up for the kid's fun run(they got shirts too!). So this is their first official race :D I walked the first mile or so of the course and it's nice and flat. The weather is perfect, 70 degrees! Going to be a nice run tomorrow on a very pretty course.

I'm getting pre-race jitters. I've only had them one other time and that was before my first 5k last year. I'm nervous I'm going to fail, I'm nervous that I'm not going to finish. It will be fine, I'm sure but there's that small niggling doubt in myself knowing that I'm a novice and I still don't have that runner's look down. Ah, but I'm sure it will all be fine. Cross your fingers for me, say a Hail Mary, or w/e. Tomorrow's going to be epic either way.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Zumba-licious Baby!

For those who are unfamiliar with training for a race... or training for any sport for that matter... there's this wondrous thing called "cross training". It's where you do an activity unrelated to your sport so that your muscles don't get overused or overtired. There are several things I like to do to cross train but Thursdays are BLACK LIGHT ZUMBA! It's definitely one of my favorite cross training activities. I particularly like the black light Zumba because no one can A. see my face and they have less of a chance of seeing my fat jiggle. Have you ever done hip circles with a dun lap? Yeah... not pretty. But makes me feel awesome.

Here's my Zumba outfit for tonight. I love the leopard print!