I’ve done gear reviews for almost a decade – even though the blog is only going on 4 years old. When we minimized and moved, I really had to evaluate the stuff I had accumulated – often because I was doing a review. I pared running gear down to only what I really used on a very regular basis. Continue reading
No matter your goals with exercise – shedding pounds, tightening up, getting off medication, looking better in a bikini, (unless you’re a dude. Please say no to the bikini. Thank you). It feels good when you look good. Like my bra and panty opinion. No one has to know what you have on (if anything) underneath your clothes. It’s about it making YOU feel pretty. Exercise is a sweaty, snot rocketing, spitting, often sticky mess. It may make us feel good to have done it, to complete a race or a training workout, but it’s not the sexiest thing to accomplish. With weather getting colder – if you’re in the Reno area, it went from 90* to 30* pretty much overnight – your clothing needs change. For me – being vain and shallow – I want to LOOK as good as exercise makes me FEEL. Here’s a little demo of how to accomplish this.
The foundation is the most important. As is the shot of your armpit. For this day I could get away with capris – I knew my legs wouldn’t be super cold and I’d warm up. Always – ladies….. – a good, supportive sports bra. Please. Even though no one may see it, it’s important to have it.
This is the layer that you’ll most likely finish the race in. I generally assume I’ll warm up and the temps will go up so my top layer will come off at some point. It should say something about you. Like my shirt obviously does in this example. Yes, I run things…… Another good thing about this short sleeved layer is that my armpit doesn’t show in the selfies.
Depending on starting temperatures, this is the layer you’ll have on to get you going. I like my glove color to pop, but also it depends on how cold the temps are. I have big gloves that I put hand warmers in when the temps drop down. The hat is also dependent on how cold it is. This is one of my favorite hats. It’s a middle weight so it’s the one I wear most in winter and it just screams “I’m a running gangster so don’t even try to mess with me. I’ll kick your butt!”
Remember. Layer. Give yourself room to start chilly, warm up and peel off layers. Figure out ahead of time where you’ll put things if you peel them off. Gloves, hats, earwarmers, etc… need to go somewhere when you don’t need to wear them. Pockets or eliciting the help of other peoples cars, bike baskets, etc… is something to take into consideration. Colder temperatures make running challenging but if you layer things right, you’ll still look good doing it.
I think I know why my computer hasn’t been charging….
I knew it wasn’t a happy charger when I taped it up. When it stopped working altogether, I untaped it, got zapped (because OF COURSE I didn’t unplug it first!!) and retired it. I’ve been trying to find a new one. Ordered off eBay, bought two universal chargers. Nothing fit. I tried most of my kids chargers except Olivia’s….. Hers fits – it’s not quite the same fit but it charges. Until I can find the exact one, I’m plugged in!!! Most of the time.
That’s the phrase I teach my dogs when I want them to go lie down. “Find your spot”. I enjoy refinishing furniture and the kids help me out. I like having areas in my house where you can find your spot. A place where you’re involved in what’s going on, yet separate. A cuddle up and read a book spot. Aside from the living room and bedrooms, there are a few areas of the house where we can grab a soft blanket, a book, a cup of tea and find our spot.
My kids were asked by the race director for Running With The Bears to run an aid station. Heck. Yes. There were 3 categories that runners would vote on: Best Spirit, Best Theme and Best Snack. Although they didn’t win an award and although there was an issue with their location, they rocked it as usual. They’re already signed up for next year in the spot they want, with the theme chosen, a list of items we need to purchase for said theme and missions: Win the contest, see me on the half marathon and have even more epic fun!! Beach Babes they were, but amazing support even more so!
Tuesday night, I ran. I had taken a little break to get moved and get used to working more. But last Tuesday, it was time. I only took a week off but it felt like forever. I met my team and did the warm up. I told my friend and teammate Olivia that I was going to email her for accountability. I can make more practices when the kids start school next week. Working more actually opened up the potential to meet with the team more without compromising time with the kids. There will be some very early mornings involved. I live about 20 minutes away from the workouts and I couldn’t afford the gas just to go and then drive home. Big van, 11 mpg, $4 gas – you get the picture. Now I work in South Reno so I’m driving there anyway (and I get paid to do it!). YAY!!! But accountability is necessary sometimes to keep each other on track. I have to get up at 5am instead of 6am. I have to plan more and pack better. I have to restructure.
We warmed up and started to run and sprinkles dotted my head, arms, body. I looked up at the tendrils of clouds reaching ominous, wet fingers in our direction and I thought, “Bring it on!!”. I wanted the rain, I wanted the exhaustion, I wanted to feel my lungs burn and my hair whip my back. I wanted the run. We ran trails. It was hilly, rocky, packed dirt and gravel. I felt physically drained, I felt euphoric. It may have only been a week, but for a runner that seems like an eternity. I was surrounded by teammates and I found my happy again.
I think I’m back. In more ways than one. I’m not entirely sure what my “normal” is, but I think I’m getting there. The end of July/beginning of August have been a time of change. I started a new job that I love, love, love. 3 days a week I still do hair which I also love. Another 3 days I work at the best office ever. It’s been an adjustment to go from 4 days to 6 days of work per week. Worth it, but an adjustment none the less. I think I’m almost there.
I also increased my training. After a 17 mile bike ride, my silly,wonderful, beautiful, amazing friend and teammate Olivia said to me, “You just rode further than IronGirl!! You should sign up!!”. Her contagious optimism seeped into my very pores and she signed me up for the triathlon. I think post ride/run/swim/race is kind of like being drunk or a happy drug trip. You just shouldn’t make decisions. Now that I’m locked in and signed up, my training has moved up a notch. My “Oh, swim and bike would be FUN ways to cross train for my real love – running!” has become “Holy crap, I need to up my game!”. Man, I love that woman!! So I’m also getting used to a new training schedule. ON PAPER, it looks like a good idea to add more morning workouts. “My jobs are near the workout, I’m a morning person, it’s a perfect way to get in more training without taking time away from my family”, blah, blah, blah….. Even as a morning person, 4:45 am alarm clock settings seem – well – early.
Another adjustment has been moving. An occasional necessary evil, regardless of how “good” an idea it is, moving just sucks. I have the old house for the month of August which means it can go slowly. I’m not sure which is worse – packing and moving everything at once or dragging it out. I’ve been in the new house for a while now, but the moving started July 24th. For 12 days I moved a load every morning before work and at least one every night after work. Then there was the Saturday I took off and moved where a bulk of it happened and the several trips back and forth on Sundays. I hit day 12 and shut down. What I really need is one really good, full day with lots of guys who lift stuff I can’t to just wrap it up. And to fork out the money for a cleaning service because the thought of going back to clean fills me with dread.
The new house is coming along nicely. The kids said it didn’t smell like our home which was an interesting comment to me. So before the moving commenced, I brought over a few of my candles and my Air Wick plug ins. By the time we were moving, it smelled like home. It’s a good house. All houses have inadequate closet space – especially for a woman with 100+ shoes – and the bedrooms are tight, but it’s good. Comfy. Homey. The furniture I needed to replace has been refinished and looks great. Every day I look forward to being here. It’s comforting to have your own space. A retreat. A place to be that feels good.
My internet got hooked up last night. It was the final step to moving in (well except the stuff that still needs to be moved…..). I’m exhausted. I’ve been staying up until midnight unpacking, which stinks since I’m really not a night person, and I’m up by 5. I NEED to sleep. Not just a nap (which would be lovely) but really sleep. Like, take unisom at 8pm and shut down until 7am kind of sleep. I’m also the type of person who not only sleeps – takes care of herself. I shave from my feet to my collarbone every other day, I use lotion after every shower, I super condition my hair, I don’t wear makeup or use the blow dryer on the weekends, I soak in the tub….. I like to feel good. It’s not about impressing anyone else, it’s about doing little things to make myself better. Hasn’t happened. Today, however, I left the salon earlier than normal. I got a gift from a client and although I very, very rarely drink, I was thankful.
I came home, poured the glass, put on Norah Jones and ran the shower. Hot. I took that long shower I’d been craving. I shaved, I conditioned, I exfoliated, I used my Citrus Grapefruit body wash, I pumiced my feet. I got out and lotioned, I left my hair alone, I put on zero makeup and I got my comfort clothes on. My BodyRock Sport shorts and my Ann Taylor silk tank top in one of my favorite colors – eggplant. I’ve cut out so many things the last couple of weeks – answering emails, reading other blogs, writing, Facebook, picture downloading, sleep, training, invitations, etc… I got caught up on some, I’m in the process with others. I opened the WordPress tab and clicked the button that says “My Blog” and I realized how much I’ve missed being here nearly daily for the past couple of years. I have a list written of posts I’m going to write, my pictures are organized and I’m ready to be back. Right after that nap….
Coach’s wife Shaunna surprises us at track practice with a treat. She likes to bake and we like to run hard and eat so it all works out perfectly. Last night she brought a snow cone machine. YAY!!!! No matter what’s going on – as in utter exhaustion from a brutal track workout – hand me a snow cone and I feel like a little kid again.
Track will probably never be my “fun, easy run” but it sure does push me. Every time I show up, coach tells us what we’re doing and I think, “He’s crazy. No way. Does he subscribe to running masochists dot com????” Then I do it. It’s hard. But I finish and then I feel euphoric. I have the best team ever and misery loves company so we all sweat and push together. Then we eat snow cones. Sounds like a good deal to me.
I have no idea how I’m progressing running wise. I do know I’m training harder, smarter, better than I ever have. I also know I’m a stronger runner, more focused, dedicated and consistent. So it’s OK with me that I don’t have an accurate gauge for progression. I don’t care how much or where I’m at, I’m fine knowing I’m moving forward positively. Doing speedwork, always warming up and cooling down my body, running slower for some runs and pushing on others, incorporating hills – it’s all good. Speed work on the track is probably mentally the most challenging for me, the big hills are the most difficult physically. Having teammates makes it all easier – misery loves company!!! Track workouts are very family friendly and although super difficult, really worth it. Here’s why:
If you’ve known me for over 18 years, you’d know that I used to be very vanilla. Perhaps not to people who really knew me well, but for the most part I kept my spunk under wraps. At 5’9″ and curvy, I had good reason (so I thought) not to draw further attention to myself. Silly. My kids would like to remind me that I now measure 5’8″ (due to faulty tape measurer I’m sure!) and I’m still curvy but I long ago ditched my past wardrobe of everything neutral for things that are more me. The kids dad helped me do this (geez, when he reads this he’ll never let me live it down!!) and I’ve been grateful. Not just for encouraging me to bring color in my life, but to capitalize on my own personal spunkyness as well. Fortunately, since my kids have grown up surrounded by style and perhaps a bit of attitude, they’ve never seemed apprehensive about speaking their minds through fashion.
I do still adhere to the age old rule of having staples in your closet. Black, white, brown, blah, blah, blah…. They are the building blocks of creating something special and unique but (in my opinion) should be used as just that – foundation. The joke in my family is that in my vanilla life I used lots of different colors: Off white, beige, ecru, mother of pearl, soft brown, cream, etc…. Now sometimes my kids roll their eyes and ask if I’m having a “flashdance moment” or if I’m seriously wearing that. What they don’t realize is that for years I wanted them to wear a pin that said, “Today I dressed myself” which would serve 2 purposes. One it would make them feel proud of themselves. Two it would alert everyone that I had nothing to do with they’re outfit of choice. So perhaps in my frenzy of continuing to find myself through fashion, I too could don the pin. Mix it up, have fun, be you, get creative, ask opinions, feel good about yourself. Rock it!!