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My Sports Bra Rebelled

I’ve been a devotee to the Nike compression sports bra for awhile now. I probably have about 10 in my drawer in all sorts of colors and fancy designs. 

I take really good care of them: cold water wash, hang dry, NEVER ever putting them in the dryer. Yet, recently they started chaffing me, badly. I even Body Glided myself up the other day before my long run on Sunday and THAT didn’t help.

I think it is time to make a change. Is there a bra that you recommend?

Countdown: 62 Days to Go

I’m big on the instant gratification of newness. I love buying something new (like that J. Crew No. 2 Pencil skirt I desperately want) and immediately wearing it. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the part of marathon training I was looking forward to most: when every long run takes me to a distance record, to mileage milestones, to revelations about what my body can do.

Yesterday I made it over my first long-run hurdle. I’ve done the half-marathon ad nauseum so the 13 miles on the schedule today, while the longest run yet didn’t seem daunting. It was next week’s 14 that had me anxious (and the weeks following that).

When Kristin and I set out for our run it was all about the 13, but then we took a left turn and the next thing I knew we were running 14. I started my new 3 mile splits (this is what I worked out in my head to plan out my walk breaks) and it kept my energy up and made it possible for me to finish off strong.

I was happy with the pace and after taking my first ice bath (WHO IS HARDCORE NOW?) am happy with the lack of amazing tense legs.

A girl could get used to this accomplishment feeling.

A Test of Perseverance & Will Power

My lack of motivation for long runs has been making me anxious. Everyone else I know is up to 14 miles plus, and I am no where near that mileage.

Sunday was going to be the first long run in two weeks and I HAD to do it. A late dinner out with friends already had me thinking a 6:30AM run was unrealistic, but I figured if I mapped out the run in advance I would have no excuse. Then the heavens opened up…and running in lightening is not my favorite thing to do. I went back to sleep to wait out the storm, unfortunately the storm had more stamina than I anticipated.

So I went to the gym with the daunting task of running 11 miles on a treadmill. I downloaded a really awful movie (New Year’s Eve) and plugged in. The first few minutes were terrible, I kept looking around thinking “how am I going to do this?”  Then I just sort of zoned out and forgot I was on the treadmill. Luckily the movie took me almost to the end of the run.

I feel a little bit more sore than anticipated, but none of that pain in my calves like I usually do from the treadmill.

While this one worked out, I don’t think I will EVER be doing it again.

Marathon Training: First Month Down

The first month of marathon training has come and gone, and I have discovered a couple of things about my training schedule:

  • My vacations/weekends away have interrupted training more than I thought they would help training. Yes, I could run whenever I wanted while I was on vacation, but the actual travel part wrecked havoc on my miles logging. I missed two long runs; one because I was coming back from AC and was exhausted and one because I did something to my back that caused me to be sidelined.
  • I am lucky if I get in two weekday runs. At first it was all about hitting everyday no matter what, but then work and other obligations got in the way. Tuesdays are no problem, Thursdays are my rough days.
  • I needed to cut out my personal training. As much I love working out with Leslie Ann I was exhausted. My legs wanted to give out on me, and it made getting in my miles even harder because I just wanted to not run on running days.
  • Yoga is absolutely necessary (so are massages). No matter how much I stretch before and after my runs, I need that little extra. I am going to look into joining a studio to get that additional yoga love going on…since my DVDs at home are little more intensive than just extra stretching.

Mid-way through August, and I feel like I haven’t even started the climb up the very big hill that is preparing for this marathon.

You’d Look Sweet Upon The Seat

While in Nantucket, MA last weekend Josh and I discovered the true meaning of “like riding a bike” when we spent the day biking around the island. Neither of us had tried our hand at bike riding since we were young, not teenage young, young young. Obviously the many hours I log in spinning class doesn’t count.

Since moving to the D.C. area we have talked at length about buying bikes–not necessarily the really hardcore cycle-enthusiast bikes, but out for a nice weekend ride when you don’t just want to sit around bike. I think our little ride this weekend totally sealed the deal, at least for me it did.

Here’s why:

I love being active. I like exploring, which is one of the reasons I love running so much. I can go out for an exploration run no matter where I am and stumble upon something interesting. Josh hates running with me. We don’t go at the same pace (I am a little faster) and I run much farther for much longer than he likes to. Biking was something we can do together and actually be together at the same time.

I’m already researching our bike options….

Pure Yoga: Restorative Yoga

I’ve always thought of yoga whether it was intense “power yoga,” or “slow flow” as a relaxation technique. Something to take my mind off of things for awhile and give my body a good stretch. I had never thought about trying “restorative yoga,” but after a hard partying weekend for one of my best friend’s bachelorette party it sounded delectable.

Doesn't she look relaxed?

Typically Jaclyn attends slow flow before going to an hour of restorative at Pure Yoga. This was our intention until we both fell asleep. When we woke up restorative still sounded like a good idea, so we went. In case you are new to restorative, props (blocks, bolsters, blankets, etc.) are used for support so that you can hold a pose longer.

Some of the poses were just exactly what I needed–supported child’s pose…jackpot! my brain completely shut off at one point.

Not me, just an example of supported child's pose

The lady next to me was snoring away and I didn’t want to move. There is something about savasana that kicks my brain back on; I’ve decided that it’s because my brain doesn’t shut off at night either and this most closely resembles bed time pose.

It was a nice way to wind down the weekend, and I was incredibly relaxed at the end. However, about halfway through I got this itchy feeling that I wanted/needed to move. To be doing SOMETHING else. After class I mentioned this to Jaclyn who had the same response. We both decided that had we gone on a long run or to a different yoga class (like we planned) right before we wouldn’t have had that feeling.

Strong Is the New Pretty

Last night on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams they did a segment on the amazing women athletes breaking new ground in the Olympics this year. They listed everyone from Gymnast Gabby Douglass to Archer Miranda Leek.

These women athletes have broken records, inspired millions, and redefined what pretty is. I watched closely as Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh and April Ross and Jennifer Kessy made it farther than the Men’s Beach Volleyball Team.

May-Treanor and Walsh Celebrating

More importantly though, were the sports less well known as woman sports. I am talking about Judo and Archery. Or the sports where we dethroned champions (women’s pole vault) while wearing sparkly headbands.

Suhr's winning pole vault

And even watching Alex Morgan win the match against Canada by using her head! Her head! How many times have you seen a women’s team win like that?

I’ve always enjoyed watching the Olympics and watching strong women, like Misty and Kerry who have families at home achieve their dreams. That’s inspiring. That what makes strong is the new pretty.

I’ll find the video a little later today and post it for your viewing pleasure.

Miranda Leek and Katniss making it happen for the girls

Burpees Are the Worst

My trainer has dubbed me the “most in-shape” person she trains. Mostly, because she can throw anything at me, and I will do it. I rarely roll my eyes or groan at her and I just do. The exception? The burpee.

I HATE the burpee. I despise it’s every essence. This one simple move  tests both your strength and aerobic capacities and no matter how in shape you are, leaves you gasping for air. But I do them, reluctantly…

So let me break down the benefits of the burpee:

Strength: This is a full-body, strength training exercise. We are talking arms, chest, thighs, hamstrings and abs.

Fat Burning: Since it is full-body and its intense (for me at least) it is one of the best fat burners. It is one of those HIT exercises that burns more and longer.

Conditioning: This is about endurance…I remember being in a class once and seeing a giant muscley man next to me struggling to get through push-ups and burpees. I thought how can that be? Then I realized his giant muscles probably meant he wasn’t pushing his conditioning and endurance. Burpees=best of both worlds.

Portable: Since I travel a lot for work and I don’t always love the hotel gym, I do these in my hotel room (DO NOT TELL ANYONE).

So that’s my love/hate relationship with burpees. I hate them, but I do them because they are perfect for whipping your body into shape. And there are a few different ways that you can do it, so at least they aren’t stale.