Run like Like a Girl!

I recently placed an order for an Ultraswift Althletic skirt from www.runningskirts.com. A friend of mine posted the link to their site on facebook and I really liked what I saw. The fabrics were feminine and fun. There were a lot to choose from! At first I couldn't figure out the difference between the different styles and the  sizing was a bit tricky at first (but I LOVE being a single digit size!) I spent some time checking out the website and figuring out what was what.

First, I decided that I wanted an Athletic Skirt because this option has compression shorts built in and the others have briefs. I decided that my thighs needed some protection from friction and the shorts would also be a bit more modest on bike rides. I really liked the variety of prints with the regular Athletic Skirts, but opted for the Ultraswift in the end because of the third pocket in the back. The Ultraswift skirts are made from a lightweight, almost mesh technical fabric. All of the skirts (I think) have velcro pockets on the hip but the  Ultraswift has a third pocket centered on the back.

Choice made, I placed my order and waited excitedly for my package. I waited almost a week before I got the email saying that my order had shipped. The next day, I got a call from them saying that The black was out of stock in my size. This confused me because I thought mine had already shipped. They print their shipping labels before the order is actually pulled and filled. I was offered the same color in another style or the same style in another color. I opted for the Surf Blue instead the Black. Once it did ship, it got here very quickly by priority mail

I was a little frustrated at first that it took almost a week for them to realize that what I ordered was out of stock. Then finding out that what I thought had shipped already hadn't even been packed did not help my frustrations at all!  The representative on the phone was very helpful and went through all of the different options with me, discussed sizing (they run small) and made sure that they had what she was offering me as a replacement.

Finally, my package made it to CT from San Diego! I love the color! Actually, I think I like it better than the black, so that was a happy accident. The fabric is also very soft. They also put in a coupon and a free Lip Balm (which I don't see on their site). So, although it took a bit of frustration to get here, I was happy with my order and I was also pleased with the fact that their customer service went the extra mile to resolve the problem and make up for the inconvenience.

Today, I took it for the first test run. The shorts have "reverse seams" so that the smooth side of the shorts are on the inside so there are no seams to rub or chafe. The waistband is soft and flexible. all 3 pockets are small, but stay closed well with the velcro.

I put my car keys in one hip pocket and my phone in my back pocket. Everything stayed where I put it quite comfortably and needed no adjusting. My workout was almost 3 miles including warm up and cool down at a 12 min pace for the run portion. I'm still new at this, so that was a great run for me! The skirt fit nicely - no chafing, no rubbing, no riding up or falling down - even with keys and a phone! It was neither too tight or too loose for me, but I can see this fabric fitting a large size range fairly well. I finished my run a few hours ago and I am still wearing it, so that should tell you something about the comfort level!

I did try out the lip balm too. It is grape and in a cute tube that matches one of their fabric prints. Left my lips soft and hydrated - not greasy! very nice, but nothing spectacular.

Will I order from them again? I'm pretty sure I will. There are matching tops and lots of other accessories as well. Plus I got the coupon... There is also a shopping app that you can download onto your iPhone or Droid. I saw a lot of issues in the comments in the android market, but I don't think I really need any on line shopping app on my phone. I can do that from my computer quite easily. I might also call them next time to be sure they have what I want in stock before I submit my order.

I do LOVE my skirt and I am going to need more for the summer. I can see myself wearing them for biking and hiking as well as running. may even wear it chasing the kids around Day Camp this summer! I put some of my favorites on a pinboard.


Setting Goals

With my first race behind me, I need to give myself some motivation. I work better with deadlines in general. A finish line so to speak.

For my short term goal, I decided that I want to work on endurance rather than speed. I have previously posted that I want to get my pace under 12:00 for my next race. I am going to revise that. My new goal is to run the whole thing - whatever pace that may be. 

To that end, I have not been giving myself permission to walk. at all. My last run was 28 minutes, 2.31 miles. I ran the whole thing with a pace of 13:09. Much slower than my race. I found that discouraging at first, but then I remembered why I began running in the first place. The goal was to build my endurance. How do I do that if I keep walking? So, my last few runs have been slower, BUT I ran the whole way! I am determined to run all of my next race.

What is my next race? Glad you asked! Color Me Rad. I will be running in Hartford, but they have events all over the place. Check it out and see if there is one near you. Even if you don't run, you may want to check it out anyway! as you run the course, people throw "color bombs" at you! it is actually colored corn starch (I think - they assure me it is non-toxic anyway..) So, you start out in white and end up looking like a bag of skittles! 


Bargaining with Myself

When I run, particularly with the longer intervals, I find that I keep making deals with myself. If I run the first half, I can walk a little bit. Run two songs, walk for one. That sort of thing. It is no wonder that I haven't completed any long intervals without stopping.

Even during the race, I told myself that if I ran the entire first half, I could walk a little later. Well, as soon as I hit the halfway point, I walked even though I could have kept going.

Today's run was a 5 min warmup and a 25 min run. I made a deal with myself again. I figured that I ran over 1.5mi in the race without stopping, so I'd go for 2mi today, then I could walk.

You see, when you run a pace of 12:30 for 25 min, you've gone 2 miles. So yeah, I kind of tricked myself.

It also helped that I kept distracting myself with the view! I'm really enjoying the boardwalk!

Today's run map/stats are here



There are a lot of people in the world that inspire me. My biggest inspirations come from the people I know that are doing amazing things. I am blessed to have so many of them in my life.

One of them is my friend Heather. When we met, she was rollerblading through the dorm and juggling. We soon became friends and sorority sisters. She is a pretty smart lady and one hell of an athlete. For her latest truck, she complete the LA Marathon. Check out her blog for her race report.


WPLR Shamrock n Roll 5K

I did it!

...and I was wearing my tiara while I did.

I just finished week 6 (out of 9) of the Couch to 5k. My longest run was 2.2 miles, Not too bad considering where I started, but still almost a mile short of a 5k. BUT I said my goal was to finish. even if I had to walk part of it. I did do some walking, but I finished!

The hardest part of the race may have been trying to get my husband and children up, fed and out of the house in time. I was ready to just leave them home and go by myself when I hear Todd tell the boys how important it was for them to be there to support me and I knew that he meant it  - and it was important to him to be there.

When we finally made it to New Haven, we found a place to park and walk the last half mile to Toad's Place. I considered it a warm-up, but the kids thought it was punishment. They called everyone to the start and I kissed my boys and headed for the back of the pack. I'm slow. I know that and I'm okay with it. I don't want to get in anyone else's way. Apparently, other people didn't have that kind of forethought. Once the race started, there were people pushing and shoving their way through the pack to get in front - even before crossing the start. I was further annoyed when there were several people with jogging strollers (which are prohibited) getting in everybody's way. For the record - I have NO problem with people jogging with strollers in general, but they are against the rules for a reason. It is just too crowded! New Haven is an old City. the roads are narrow and there were 2,100+ people trying to start the race.

Just as I was getting really put off about this whole race thing, the pack began to thin out as everyone hit their own pace. I was starting to get discouraged early on, but I refused to let myself give up. Whenever I started to think I can't do this, I told myself to shut up, because I AM doing this! I have to say I picked a great playlist to motivate me. I put in lots of Dropkick Murphy's and Flogging Molly for the occasion. Plus, people were encouraged to run in costume and quite a few of them just made me literally laugh out loud. It is always good not to take life - or a 5k too seriously.

Soon, I started to see the  leaders doubling back on Waley Ave. I was probably delusional when I assumed that I was close to half way. Those people were the over-achievers like my friend Vegan Heart Doc* who compete in marathons and triathlons. They were just going for a quick sprint around the block. Then I passed the 1 mile mark and I started to wonder what the hell I was thinking showing up for the race. Then I noticed some of the actual racers cheering us on. If they think I can do it, then maybe I can, right? Then I made a deal with myself. I will run the first half, then if I need to walk a little bit, I will.

I hit the half way point and kept running for a few more minutes, but gave in  and walked when I started to get a cramp in my side. I breathed and walked it off for a few minutes and got back into my stride. by that point I was doubled back on Waley and I was surprised to see that there were people behind me! I made sure to cheer them on too. I also began seeing some of the over-achievers again. some were just running it again because they could, some were cooling down and a few were jumping back in to finish (again) with their teammates/friends/family.

I kept going jogging and walking a minute or two where I needed to. I was walking when I saw the last runner heading the other way. He had a cane and he was jogging. What am I doing walking? I ran the rest of the way.

I finally saw the last turn on to York Street ahead and I knew the finish was close, but I was so ready to be done. There were two people on the corner holding signs. The first on said "RUN FASTER, I JUST FARTED" and the other said "DON'T STOP! PEOPLE ARE WATCHING!" Talk about motivation!

As I came down York toward the finish, I saw my boys standing  just before the finish and I nearly cried. Ryan put his hand out for a High 5 and I think that was even better than crossing the finish. When I did cross the finish, my phone app was playing Spicy McHaggis and as I crossed, the Celtics won the championship! talk about timing! My phone said I did it in 39:00 with an average pace of 12:30/mile. My official race time was 39:35 with an average pace of 12:33.

After the race I took the boys into Toad's to get some water. First time I've seen that bar covered in glasses of water! lol Ryan hated the smell of the beer but decided that watching a real rock band was worth it. The other two couldn't take the noise and went outside with Dad. We decided not to wait around for the award presentation and went for pizza instead. Yeah, I just ran a race, but probably not far enough to justify the 4 slices of pizza I had at 10am, but hey, it is New Haven...

I did learn a few things:

  1. Get the kids/dad up earlier if I want them to go with me.
  2. Pack a backpack with snacks and drinks for the kids during the race and some fruit for me after the race.
  3. Don't get discouraged. It is only a race.
I took a long walk on the boardwalk this morning and I will be back to my C25K tomorrow. I would like to get my pace down under 12min/mi by the next race. 

*Seriously, the Doc is an inspiration. She was running a quick half before rounding on her patients while I was dragging ass through New Haven..Check out her blog. She is the real deal.


On the "Treadmill"

No, I don't have one to literally run on. I kind of wish I did some days. When it is cold and raining I may want to run, bu forget it! I'm NOT that hardcore!

I am speaking more metaphorically. I've have been traveling, working doing stuff with the kids etc. but still managing to get in my runs. They haven't been anything too spectacular. I am on Week 5. Tomorrow I will finish the week. I know I won't complete all 9 weeks before the race, but I am going to finish the race!

Life has had a lot of work related stress and I have found that running helps, but it still isn't as good as beating the shit out of the bag until my hands bleed!

I also feel the need to point out that running isn't the only part of my work out. The rest is kind of random when I remember stuff. I really need to work out a better plan there. I am still doing my 100 push-ups challenge and I completed the 200 sit-ups challenge, but I still do them. As I already mentioned I love hitting and kicking the bag.. The man has noticed some changes and I notice my clothes fitting a bit differently, so I guess it is making a difference.


Finished Week 3, started Week 4

I finished week 3 about a week ago. I wasn't feeling 100% but I'd had a stressful day. I was in the office. Bosses+ siting. I needed to move. It was nothing special. My breathing is getting better and the shoes are breaking in nicely. Then I went to karate. Yeah. I slept well that night.

The next day, I got a new tattoo. On my leg. I spent Friday -which would.have been my next run day- icing my swollen ink. I got it to cover up the scar from my accident a few years ago and the scar is painful now.

Monday, I decided I needed to kick off week 4. It snowed over the weekend and the snow was now melting into a slushy mess. My leg was still sore. I did it anyway. It felt pretty good. Most of the time.

I was feeling pretty strong. The intervals were longer, two 3 mins and two 5 mins. These were my longest yet. I ran them all out except the last. It was starting to feel like someone jabbed something into my scar and then my thigh started to cramp. I slowed to a fast walk to wrap up the work out. I was doing well aside from the self-inflicted pain. Shoes felt good. Breathing was strong. No stitch in my side. I'm getting there.

Week 4 continues tomorrow. Today is errand day. A whole other kind of running around.


Week 3, Day 2 - When I *Finally* Got New Shoes

Todd ordered new boots from a local shoe store and asked me to pick them up on may way home. When I walked in there was a HUGE display of women's running shoes. This store is just awesome. The staff.knows everything about every shoe they carry. After figuring out which type of shoe would best for me, she measured me and went in back. She returned with SIX pairs of shoes - none of which were too narrow! In fact one was way too wide. I tried them all out and went with a pair of Nike's.

I was so excited to find them that I couldn't wait to get home and try them out! So what if it was 27° with snow flurries!

Obviously they weren't broken in yet and my feet are used to my beat up x-trainers. My feet were achy by the time I got through the first interval. I was also feeling it a bit in the shins at first, but that passed very quickly. I will be wearing them around the house a bit to break them in a little faster.

As for the run itself, I felt a bit stronger than the last time. Achy feet and all. Still focusing on my breathing and I'm noticing an improvement. Sham Rock N Roll - here I come!

Today's run is here.


C25K - Week 3, Day 1

First, the stats/map are here.

This weeks runs alternate 1.5 minute and 3 minute intervals. This means that the runs are significantly shorter overall, but longer intervals. I felt like I could have done another interval, but I don't want to push it. I feel tired, but not completely spent. I still have energy to do the things I need to, but I may just watch a movie and knit anyway. (Shhh! Don't tell my family that is why they will be eating leftovers tonight!)

I took the opportunity of the longer intervals to focus on my breathing. I think I did better. It is hard to tell since I was already coughing and wheezing before the run. It is cold and I'm still coughing up campfire from this weekend. I don't think it was my breathing that held me back on my intervals, it was more about muscle fatigue. My legs may be strong, but they are more accustom to kicking and sweeping than running.

All in all, I feel good and I am ready for the next one! I think it helps that I have decided that I will be OK with whatever time I end up with on the 5k - as long as I finish! I know I will and I hope to see some of you cheering me along on the way. I'm already thinking I'm going to need some post-race carbs from Modern Apizza.


Gym Rats Ranting

I will begin Week 3 of my c25k this afternoon, but I've been holding back a rant for about a week now and it is time to let it out so I can move on.

I have noticed a tend on my facebook and twitter feeds for the last 10 days. Many of my gym rat friends (wow there are a lot of you!) have been bitching about how crowded the gyms are. Yes, many people resolve to hit the gym to get fit. Yes, many will give up. BUT they are trying to make some healthy lifestyle changes.  Why not offer a smile, a hello or maybe even a "keep it up"? Some support and encouragement may be just what it takes to keep them coming and making those changes permanent. Or do you have to be one of the cool kids and already fit in order to work out? I don't think so.

We live on an obese and sedentary society. We need to fix it together. One of my reasons for doing this whole running thing is to be a positive example for my kids. Another is to prove to myself that I can. If I can encourage someone else along the way, even better!

So, to those of you inspiring and encouraging the sofa spuds to be veggie sticks, thank you! Keep it up!


Week 2, Day 3... Finally

Well, I finally picked up where I left off before the Christmas crazies kicked off. I pulled a muscle in my neck, which sidelined me for a week as well. I was feeling better last week in time for my MMA class, but I was certainly feeling it again after class. Glad I waited on running in the cold too. I don't think it would have helped.

I still haven't gotten new shoes yet. Really, there is a conspiracy against wide width women's running shoes. I hear rumors, see them on line, but they don't seem to actually exist. So. Frustrating! I will keep trying.

I have to say that even though it had been a couple of weeks, the run felt pretty good (in spite of the old x-trainers). I did get a nasty stitch ion my side during the 5th run interval. By the time I walked it off, it was time for the 6th interval and it came back. I ended up walking at least the last 30s of the interval. I guess that slice of pie before I ran wasn't such a hot idea. I will be doing less snacking and more stretching before future runs. I will also try to be aware of staying hydrated on the days that I run. I'd rather like to avoid that experience if I can help it.

In spite of the shoes, stitch and the raw windy winter day, i rather enjoyed it. my body was rested and ready to run again. I also came to the realization that I can finish the 3k - even if I have to walk a lot of it. I have set my goal at crossing the finish line for race #1. I will do my best, but I won't push myself too far past my comfort zone. if I injure myself, I can't train for the next one or do MMA or many of the other things I enjoy.I am feeling better about the whole thing in general. Less stressed. more confident. I have also decided that i am making no resolutions for 2012. Instead, I am focusing on all of the things I desire from 2012. Finishing the 5k is one of them. Then I will finish the second one...

I'd like to go backpacking too...

run details here.