WTF Wednesday

I don’t like to boycott business, but lately some of my once favorite places started doing or saying really ridiculous crap and I just can’t support that.

One of the businesses that I may have to boycott is Victoria’s Secret.  I have bought every single bra that I have worn for at least the last 15 years at this store.  I like the products, their return policy is fantastic and when they have a sale…they really have a sale.

However, I have to draw the line with this:

Photo courtesy of Victoria’s Secret.

This is the new Push -Up Sports Bra.  Why, why, why would this be necessary?  According to Vicki, “The Showtime gives you great lift and cleavage with a push-up halter shape for sexy style, even when you’re working out.”  If you are more concerned with having cleavage when you are working out, then you’re doing it wrong.

As a woman who is reliant upon a good, sturdy sports bra during a workout, I can say without a doubt that this is not for anyone with boobs.  Secondly, unless you are an actual Victoria’s Secret model, most women prefer to wear more than just a sports bra when working out.  So having some cleavage under your shirt is kind of a falling on blind eyes, isn’t it?

I’m all for wearing some cute workout gear.  Sometimes that’s the extra motivation to get out and do something, but let’s keep the boobs squished to our bodies like they should be.  Afterall, you don’t want to end up with two oranges in a pair of pantyhose, do you?

 

 

Advertisements

Runners Take Your Marks

Roughly 3 years ago, I set a goal for myself to run 5 miles at under a 10 minute mile pace.  The tough part about this was 1) I lived in Iowa at the time and the weather doesn’t always cooperate.  2) I was going to be doing most of the running on a treadmill because I had a 6 month old baby and a 2 year old at home.

A little less than 6 months after that, I was up to 3 or 4 miles, not quite at 10 minute miles, but close.  I ended up having some health issues (not related to the running) but the running had to be put on hold for about another 6 months.  Less than 5 months after that we moved back to San Diego.  I didn’t really get back to running until January of 2011.

I did OK for awhile but got bored because I was running a lot on the treadmill again.  I would stop running for about a month and then get back to it once I would see the scale creep up 5 or 7 lbs.

I was at my 10 minute mile pace, but even getting 3 miles in was kind of a struggle.  I bought a running stroller so I could run outside with Rory when Kamryn was at school.  That was really hard, but at least I was getting a few miles in during the week.

Somewhere in there, I started running with my brother, Dan.  He runs a lot and has a few marathons and other races under his belt.  I, on the other hand have a total of one race under my belt, excluding any of my junior high and high school track meets.

I. Do. Not. Like. To. Race.  At all.  I get so incredibly nervous that I feel like I’m going to either puke or shit my pants.  It is horrible.  Once I start running, I’m fine, but that anxiety I feel before is horrible.  And it’s not just immediately before – it starts the minute conversation veers in the direction of racing.

I tell anyone that will listen about my racing neurosis, but no one seems to care because my friends and my brother are still suggesting races for me to enter.  I keep turning everyone down and so instead, my brother came up with his own race for me.

Today was my race.  I had to run a 5 mile course in under 50 minutes.  It’s actually like 5.1 miles because my anal retentive brother thinks the markers are off a little bit.  His job was to run with me as my pacer.  I told him to wear the watch and keep me where I needed to be, but I also told him he wasn’t allowed to tell me if I fell behind my pace.  He would just have to make sure I finished where I needed to.

49 minutes and 26 seconds later I finished my race.  I ran seconds under 10 minute miles for the first 4 miles and then my last mile was 9 minutes and 30 seconds.  To say I was happy with my time is an understatement.

Dan’s strategy was to get me to meet this goal – something that I didn’t really know if I could do so my confidence would increase.  Did it work?  Yes.  Have I signed up for a race?  No.  Am I seriously considering it?  Yeah, I think I am.

How Much Pain Can You Take?

I have been playing around with my running lately.  I used to try to run a minimum of 3 miles anytime I went out.  If I couldn’t get a full 3 miles in then I would have to do something else later, like go on a walk.

I was starting to feel like 3 miles wasn’t enough anymore.  The biggest problem was that I would go out on a route that I knew was 3 miles and that was all I would run.  I never went over that.  I started to feel like the 3 miles wasn’t really doing anything for me anymore.  I was still covered in sweat when I got done and was a little tired, but I kind of like to feel exhausted when I get done and I wasn’t.

I decided that I needed to be running a minimum of 5 miles.  I don’t really have a lot of rhyme or reason for my decisions.  Some may ask why not just up it to 4 miles?  I don’t know.  Maybe because 4 is an even number.  Who knows.

Since Kamryn is still on her summer vacation, if I want to run outside, she has to ride her bike and I have to push Rory in a stroller.  There is a nice little lake that just happens to have a 5 mile path around it that isn’t far from us that is perfect for running.  No cars, a wide path and it’s almost completely flat.

I loaded up the bike and stroller and made my brother come with me (to push said stroller) and we were off.  Kamryn was riding along and we were about a mile and a half in when she said she needed to stop.  I asked her why since I knew she wasn’t tired.  She said a bug flew in her ear.  OK, fine – dig it out and let’s go!

We kept on going for about another half mile when Kamryn said she wanted to walk her bike for awhile.  I let her take about 10 steps before insisting she get back on her bike.  I raised the seat a bit on her bike because there are a couple of slight inclines that she needed a little more leverage to get up.

Dan had the idea of handing over the stroller to me (SUCK!) and running ahead with Kamryn so she could keep moving.  Rory and I were running along and he kept pointing things out to me.  I would respond with a “Uh-huh.” which pissed him off.  He yelled, “MAMA, YOU GOTTA TALK!”

Well, shit, Rory, Mama is fucking tired from pushing you in your little chariot and I can’t really carry on a conversation with you right now!  I only said it in my head.

We reached the 3 mile mark and Rory said he had to pee.  I knew he was lying because I made him go right before we left.  Before I continue, I have a little back story from this morning.  Rory was playing in his room this morning and came up to me, a little too calmly and said “I pooped in my underwear.”  I thought he may have sharted so I took a peek in his underwear and found a full on assault of his britches.  He has never done that and I honestly had no idea what to do.  It was all contained in his underwear, but I was at a loss as to how to get them off.  I didn’t want it in the tub so I had him stand on the toilet, straddling the bowl.  I shimmied them off with very little spillage.  *Gag*

Back to the story.  I was a little concerned that the events from the morning would come back to haunt me, but since Rory said he only had to pee, I knew he just wanted out of the stroller.  There are disgusting port-o-potties all around the lake and each and every one has a sign on it warning you of snakes.

I told Rory that there might be snakes in there and he didn’t care, but I still knew he didn’t have to pee so I called his bluff and stopped at the next port-o-potty.  The whole time I was getting Rory out of the stroller, I was warning him that there could be a rattlesnake in there.  Instead of trying to scare my son into staying in the stroller, I should have been paying attention to what else could have been in the port-o-potty.  Like a sweaty little Asian man!

First off, they put locks on there for a reason!  Second, I was outside for a good minute talking about Rory going potty – he could have coughed or something!  I shouted out, “OH!  I’m sorry!”  I threw Rory back in the stroller and took off.  I told Rory that we were not stopping again.

We got about another 1/2 mile when Rory said he was going to poop in his underwear.  Call me crazy, but I wasn’t buying it.  I think enough time had passed and he was over the shock of the little man in the bathroom and he wanted to give it another shot.  I told him he had to wait until we got done.  I had a spare pair of underwear and shorts in case I was wrong, which I wasn’t.

We finally reached our 5 mile mark 54 minutes later and found Dan and Kamryn relaxing in the shade.  Dan had his own struggles with keeping Kamryn going and he told me now he understood why I resisted running with both kids.  I’m not saying I’ll never do it again, but the expectation has been lowered quite a bit.  It kind of sucks when my runner’s high bursts like a bubble because of whining kids.

The Cure For What Ails Me

Some days you just need to eat an entire plate of hashbrowns.  Usually, these days are preceded by a late night of singing karaoke and maybe one or two or seven drinks.

I woke up this morning with a bout of the brown bottle flu.  I popped a couple of ibuprofen, had a cup of coffee and then ran 3 miles in attempt to sweat out any remaining poisons.  I have since had 3 enormous glasses of water and I have to say I feel pretty damn good.

I remember an episode of Oprah where they discussed the best ways to combat a hangover.  It included ibuprofen, water, B12 and eggs.  The first 3 are easy, but I’m picky about eggs.  So instead of eggs, I choose potatoes.

French fries or hashbrowns are my favorite options, but really any kind of potato would do.  I used to eat the canned potatoes a lot when I was in college.  Delicious!  I also kind of like instant mashed potatoes more than the real ones unless the real ones are made with real butter and cream.

This doesn’t always work and I have yet to find a tried and true hangover cure that works for me all the time, but exercising is probably the most successful.  I like to think that I have oodles and oodles of will power and will commit to running after each time I imbibe a little too much, but those 3 miles were hard.

Have you any remedies to cure those pesky morning after katzenjammers?

 

 

A Yummy Run

I was out on my run this morning and was feeling pretty good about it.  I was only going about 2.5 miles so I knew it was going to be fast.  Plus, the sun was shining, it was warm and I was hungry.  I’m not using “hungry” in the figurative sense, but in the literal.  I was hungry for food.  Not I’m hungry for a good run.

One thing I like to do is work out when I’m hungry.  I know I’m not tapping into secret fat reserves or anything like that.  I  just feel lighter on my feet and I feel like I can breathe easier.  Sometimes when I run, I get a feeling that I’m going to puke.  I have to keep forcing myself to burp and it eventually goes away.  If my stomach contained even a little bit of food, I fear that I would be yacking it out all over the sidewalk.  I never know when the potential puke fest may happen so I choose not to eat before I work out.

I was about a mile into my run and I heard someone coming up behind me on a bike.  I thought it was odd since I was going against traffic, but whatever floats their boat, I thought.  I glanced over to see this lady run past me.  I didn’t care that she was passing me – I have said it before, I am not a fast runner, but what irritated me was that she didn’t even crack a smile in my direction.  (You can read how I feel about this here.)  Seriously, lady, you are close enough for me to reach out and punch you, the least you can do is acknowledge me.  And for the record, she wasn’t going that  fast.  I could have chased after her, but she turned the corner.  I’m assuming she used all of her energy to pass me and then had to collapse in exhaustion and this was her only escape.  The little world I live in is awesome.

I really didn’t get too worked up about the rude runner because almost immediately after this incident, all I could smell was bacon.  If I am running through a neighborhood, I almost always come across a house that smells like food.  And honestly, 9 times out of 10, it smells like bacon.  I also always run in the morning so people are frying up delicious pork belly and the aroma wafts outside.

Maybe it was because it was Sunday morning and I think people are more likely to eat a breakfast including bacon on a weekend versus a weekday, but the smell of bacon led me all the way home.  Some areas were a little stronger than other, but there was a definite bacon bouquet in the air for over a mile.

This is where my hunger plays against me.  My mouth was watering, I was almost drowning in my own saliva.  But what really sucked, was that I knew when I got home, our own house was going to smell like bacon because right before I left, I made Kamryn eggs and bacon and I gave her the last two slices.

What's a post about bacon without at least one Kevin Bacon reference?

The Runner’s Guide For The Non-Runner Part Deux

After I published my post yesterday I thought of a bazillion other tips so I thought I should make it easy on everyone – namely me and my daily blogging quest, and do a second post about running.  The first thing I want to point out is that if you read my post yesterday and were thinking “Amy, that is common sense.  I’m not a moron.”  I consider myself to be of above average intelligence and those were all mistakes I made.  So stuff your common sense in a sack!  (Name that reference for a cool prize*.)

  • I have asthma and while I rarely have any problems with it anymore, I usually take a couple of hits off an inhaler before I run.  The only time it really poses a problem is if I have a cold.  My lungs kind of hate me when I try to run when they are filled with phlegm and mucous.  But again, start slow and don’t take off like you’re running the 100 meter dash with Carl Lewis and you will fair much better if you also have this affliction.
He doesn’t even touch the ground!  He’s 50 years old now, but he would undoubtedly still kick the ass of everyone I know.
  • Be careful when running with music.  You may think you want that energetic song that keeps you going, but you may tend to run with the beat.  And by you, I mean me.  There is a website, jog.fm, that will lists songs and their beat per minute so you can find the best music to listen to if you want to run a specifically timed mile, ie 9 minute mile.  I have mixed feelings about music and running.  If I am running on a treadmill, I find music to be absolutely necessary.  However, outside, there is enough going on where I don’t feel like I need the distraction.  I did take my phone with me a couple of weeks ago and it has some music that was downloaded from my laptop.  I have a lot of random songs on my laptop for different reasons – some songs I just like, others I download to listen to while on the treadmill and others I have downloaded and added to videos that I have made.  I was absolutely thrilled, however, when the theme from Chariots of Fire started playing.  I wanted to pretend like I was running in slow motion and throw my arms up in the air at the end, but I refrained.
  • Vaseline is your friend.  Lube yourself up wherever rubbing occurs.  I bought some new shoes a couple of weeks ago and they are rubbing on my big toes.  I have two blisters that just won’t go away, but with the magic of Vaseline, I am still able to run without putting Band-aids on my feet.
  • Say “Hi” to your fellow runners.  You know how motorcycle riders always do that low wave to each other when they pass on the freeway?  I think it’s absolutely crucial that you give your comrades on the street a nod.  Actually, I like to say “Good morning!”  The reason I feel it’s so important is because when I have offered out the greeting as a way to say “Hey, look at us!  We’re both running!” and the person hasn’t responded, it makes me feel like they think they are better than me and my slow pace and obvious fatigue doesn’t warrant an invitation into their club.  When I get an equally enthusiastic greeting, it brightens my spirits and for the next few feet, I have a smile on my face.  Try to stop running when you are smiling.  It’s impossible.  It’s like trying not to blink when you sneeze.  Or not opening your mouth when you put mascara on.  Or not thinking collaborate and listen when someone yells, “STOP!”
  • When you get to the point where you don’t think you can go any further, run to the next corner, or the next tree or the next light pole.  Pick something and push yourself just that little bit.  Eventually, those extra steps will turn into yards and eventually, you’ll decide to run an extra mile.
  • If you ever need a little motivation to run, I find watching a race always gets me in the mood.  I have absolutely no desire to run a marathon, but watching people run one makes me want to get out there and go for a jog.

OK, I think that’s all I have.  Tomorrow is my running day so if I come up with any more tips, I’ll be sure to pass them on.

*There really isn’t a prize, but if someone guesses correctly and takes the time to comment, I just may come up with something.

The Runner’s Guide For The Non-Runner

Wait…huh?  It’s true.  There are runners and there are non-runners.  I think of myself as a non-runner.  And by that I mean I do run, but I don’t have that nice, easy stride, I have to constantly remind myself to relax my shoulders and arms, and until recently, I was always gasping for air.  You could probably hear me breathing before you could see me.  I could barely blurt out a one word answer if someone asked me a question in the middle of my run.  This is what I mean: 

The last couple of months, I learned how to run, but I don’t feel like I look like a runner yet.  I see those people and they just are gliding along with little to no effort.  I’m still a little like the picture above, but I can get out an actual sentence now and my body is a bit more relaxed. 

For all those people who claim they can’t run, I’m here to tell you that you can.  I don’t think I need a disclaimer here, but I’m not a doctor or trainer, these are just my opinions and things that have taken me 35 years to figure out.  I’m not going to BS anyone here, these are real problems I had and my solutions.  I’m guessing I’m not the only one and if I am, then you might find the following kind of funny and or disturbing.

  • First things first – get some gear.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but get something comfortable to run in.  I always wanted to run in shorts, but due to the size of my thighs, my shorts would creep up and I was constantly pulling my shorts out of my crotch.  Solution:  Biking shorts or compression shorts.  I also got some Under Armor shorts that my friend, Heather recommended and for whatever reason, they don’t ride up.  If you are worried about what you look like in tight shorts – get over it.  No one is looking at you.  Here is what I look like…Yeah, Baby, Yeah!  I normally can’t stand anything pulled up this high, but I think I would actually like running in Spanx because things don’t move around as much.  These are Danskin – I got them at Walmart.  I hate spending money on clothes that I’m going to sweat in.
Rory insisted on being in the picture.
  • Start slooooooooow.  If you have never run before, don’t expect to go out and run like you did when you were a kid.  I always thought I had to go as fast as I could right out of the gate.  I would run for about 10 minutes, get exhausted and thus end my workout.  Once I started slowing down and not worrying about how fast I was running, I was running 30 minutes without a problem and actually deciding to go further than I originally intended.  My once 10 minute limit is now a much easier 30 to 45 minute run.  That means a lot more calories burned.
  • It doesn’t matter how much you weigh.  I used to run when I weighed 165lbs and now I weigh 145lbs.  I do notice that it’s easier to run now, but when I was running with an extra 20lbs, I don’t recall it being that much harder. 
  • Learn to recover while you are running.  I used to just stop and walk when I got tired.  That would totally throw me off.  I would feel like I failed and didn’t even see the point of starting up again.  If I did start running again, it was hard to find a good pace and the next thing I knew, I was back to walking – feeling even more defeated.  Now, when I’m running down any kind of hill, I recover.  I slow down, catch my breath and get back to a level where I can keep on going.
  • Run by yourself or find a running partner who won’t push or compete with you.  This is hard.  Ryan and I ran a race together 7 years ago.  We haven’t run one together since.  Ryan liked to encourage me, but his encouragement sounded insulting to me.  I know he didn’t mean it that way, but when I’m huffing and puffing and just trying to take my next step, I don’t want or need someone telling me “Keep going!”  Ryan is 6 feet tall.  I’m 5’5″ on a good day.  Somebody is going to have a longer stride and it isn’t me.  You don’t have to run as fast or as long as someone else.  Work at your own pace.  The last thing you want to do is get discouraged the first time you run.  The great thing about running is that you can always compete against yourself.  You can try and run faster or longer than you did the time before.  You could argue that it’s not bad to have someone push you, but if you are going faster or harder than you are ready for, you risk getting hurt and then you are done running.
  • Don’t avoid hills.  Oh hills. Those mother f’ing hills.  I am surrounded by hills.  Unless I decide I’m going to run around the block 15 times, I can’t avoid running up a hill.  I used to think I had to maintain my pace up the hill.  DUH!  Now I understand I can slow down, take shorter steps, pump my arms and make it up the hill without dying.  Not feeling limited where you can run is nice.  I used to actually get nervous before I would start my run if I knew I was going up certain hills.
  • Accept that not every run is going to be a good run.  Some days you just feel off and even a mile seems endless.  Other days, you feel AWESOME.  On those days, take advantage of that feeling and just keep going!  I don’t have those awesome days very often, but regardless of how my run was, when I get done, that runner’s high kicks in and all is right with the world.

I know I’m forgetting more of my tips and tricks that have made me close to calling myself a runner.  Maybe in a couple of months I’ll be effortlessly running and someone will be admiring my stride from afar and saying “I wish I could run like that.”