If you want to see me have an anxiety attack, take me shopping on Black Friday. Irrational deal seekers, lacking basic parking lot navigation skills in mass quantities is something out of a horror movie. Zombies I can handle. An espresso-ed out soccer mom trying to get her hands on the last Wii U, you better stay out of the way of those perfectly french manicured nails unless you really love wearing a pirate patch every single day. So I avoid shopping on black Friday at all costs. Unless there is a running deal to be found.
So while the rest of America was camping out in the cold for a cheap tv, I was at home, snuggled up on my couch with a fire and glass of wine registering for next year’s races. FrontRunner, a company that hosts several races in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the White Bear Grand Prix, a series I was an age group winner in a few times a couple of years back, offers half off all their races black Friday until Cyber Monday. At $15 a pop for distances ranging from 5k to 10 miles, this is just too good a deal to let pass on by. Not only do they host the Grand Prix, but they also put on two of the races in the UMTR trail series, the Chippewa 10k and William O’Brien 10 mile. So I may not have any gifts bought yet for my daughter, but my 2013 racing calendar is coming along nicely.
I might have also bought myself a Polar FT4 heart rate monitor. I was given the task of selling them during the YMCA black Friday sale today at work. My brainwashing worked a little too well, since I ended up replacing the one I seem to have misplaced. But at the end of the day, all my races and watch were still less than a 32″ flat screen tv. I think I did pretty good on my black Friday shopping spree!
It’s election season here in the good old U.S. of A. Which means no rear bumper is safe from being plastered in bumper stickers supporting a certain candidate or cause. But camp out at a trail race or pull into the parking lot at any race expo, and you’ll see cars bedecked in an array of bumper stickers and magnets showing nothing more than a number. You’ve probably driven by them. 26.2, 13.1, 140.3. What do those numbers mean? Just a hint, 100K has nothing to do with their yearly income. Those stickers are like badges of honor to runners and triathletes. As we conquer a new distance, we find a few bare inches on which to advertise our latest achievement. Here’s your non-runner (and tri) guide to deciphering those cryptic numbers. (more…)
As the summer fishing season winds down, I’m in search of a different kind of fish. The Swedish fish, that is. While my sweet tooth is well documented, these fish aren’t just for aimlessly snacking on while blogging and watching Netflix. They serve a greater purpose that only runners seem to understand. They may just be one of the best mid-race snacks. I will gladly chomp on those little red gummies any day over gels and chews. I have tried over and over to make myself like the traditional running fuels, but I just can’t do it. Gels are slimy and sticky. Have you ever tried to open one of those little pouches while running at 1:40 half marathon pace? It’s a recipe for disaster. The chews always seem to get stuck in my teeth. I’m pretty sure my mom cscolded me a few times as a kid for running around with a tooth pick in my mouth. So the quest continued for something I could literally eat on the run. (more…)
My gym bag. I never leave home without it. Seriously. In the off chance that a workout emergency occurs, I want to be prepared. I figure this is also great preparation in case of a zombie apocalypse since I’ll have my running shoes, extra clothes, and zombie ass kicking music ready to go. You never know.
1. Shoes – Usually an retired pair of running shoes that I clean up so I can get a little more life out of them before saying goodbye (or just adding them to the ever growing running shoe collection). Right now I’ve got a pair of Brooks Ghost 4s.
2. Gym Clothes. Usually this is a pair of capris and a tank top. Have to show off the guns I’ve worked so hard for.
3. iPod – Yes, I am quite aware that a 4th generation nano belongs in an iPod museum somewhere as a relic of past technologies. But as long as it’s still pumping out tunes, I’ll be kicking it old school
4. Notebook and Pen – This is where I plan out my workouts for the day and track how many reps and sets at whatever weight. I have exercise ADD, so I need a pretty well stocked arsenal to keep me from getting distracted by shiny objects (usually sweaty men with big muscles).
5. Kindle – Another must for my workout ADD. If I’m going to have to move the cardio indoors because I can’t get outside for a run, I need something to keep me entertained. By the way, reading 50 Shades of Gray while riding the stationary bike is a really bad idea.
6. Hair brush and extra hair ties – I have long curly hair. Enough said.
7. Make up bag – I actually have a separate gym make up stash so I don’t have to worry about forgetting my face. I like to look pretty. I’m a girl. Deal with it.
8. Deodorant – It should be a law that all gym goers carry some on their person at all times. I can’t reiterate the importance of deodorant enough. Use it people!!
9. Make up removing wipes – To take off my face before sweating it out. Working in a gym and being the person that folds all those little towels, I can tell you that make up does not wash out of towels nicely. Plus the scary clown look is never good.
10. Protein Bar – Post workout recovery snack on the go.
11. Water Bottle – Can also be filled with vodka, but not advised during hard interval or lifting sessions.
12. Bondi Band – Great for keeping the hair out of the face during those intense tabata workouts.
13. Heart Rate Monitor – I love my Polar FT4. It’s a great basic HRM without many bells and whistles, but for a gym workout, it does everything I need it to do. It tracks my HR and calories burned. Mostly I got it because it’s pink, and I get a great discount on Polar watches.
14. Lotion – It’s a girl thing.
In my ideal world, I would have an entire floor of my house devoted to fitness equipment. State of the art cardio equipment, my own personal yoga studio, a kick ass weight area, big screen tvs and kicking sound systems when I want to pop in a video or get some angry ass kicking tunes going, and of course, my own personal trainer who is preferably male, attractive, and only speaks enough English to tell me how beautiful I am. Until then, I’m limited to what the budget allows, so here are the 5 items I couldn’t live without.
I cannot stress this one enough. As an athletic trainer, I see so many injuries that stem from poorly fitting shoes or shoes that are past their prime. If there’s one item to splurge on, this would be it. Also, Cute ≠ Good. It’s definitely worth it to go to a running store and get fitted properly for shoes. Even if you’re not a runner, but plan on spending lots of time in the gym, a good pair of shoes, especially if you’ll be jumping around in group fitness classes will help keep injuries at bay.
I swore I’d never be that runner. You know, the one that shows up to races with all the latest gadgets. Then I started training for my first half marathon. I’d spend a good half hour mapping out a run only to forget which road to turn down or exactly where the quarter-mile splits fell on my interval days. I trained for a whole half without one. Now I wonder how I ever survived. I’d be lost without my Garmin Forerunner 305 when I’m out doing a long run, speed training, or trying out a new route. I don’t wear it for every run, but it’s been a wonderful these last few years.
I have date nights with my foam roller. Pour a glass of wine, pop in a movie, and give it some quality bootie time. I’m serious. I love my foam roller. If Republicans would just accept that love between a woman and piece of foam can exist without destroying the institution of marriage, I would probably marry it. My relationship with mine is kind of like something out of 50 Shades. It hurts so good, but I keep going back for more. I have named mine Christian for that reason. Except my Christian is white and not Grey.
This may be one of the most versatile pieces of equipment I own. It can double as a bench for many exercises as well as add that something extra to an ab workout. Push ups on the ball? Yes, please!! jackknife? Heck yeah!!
5. Jump Rope –
This is just not for little kids. Break that sucker out if you haven’t in years. It’s a great cardio workout, and you can take it anywhere. I love to throw mine in my suitcase when I’m travelling. That way if that so promised workout room turns out to double as a dungeon or I’m not in a place where going out for a quick run isn’t the safest bet, I can still get a workout in while on the road. I”ll also get a good jumping session in on the deck while the kiddo is in bed. Plus your kids will think you’re super cool when you do a double under.
I want want WANT these shorts!!! My friend Anne over at Running Unplugged had a chance to review these insanely cute running shorts from INKnBURN. I’m so freaking jealous!!! I would do anything to get my hands on a pair of their Women’s Performance Denim Shorts. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, so these would be perfect for my ever-growing running gear collection. If it weren’t for the hefty price tag, I’d probably have a pair for every day of the week. They also solve the dilemma of trying to find decent running gear that can double as a costume for those Halloween races. I’m thinking Daisy Duke for Monster Dash this year. What do you think??? So if you were wondering just what to get me for an It’s Monday gift, I’m a size small 😉 Actually, anything from INKnBURN would make me a very happy girl. The Bandit Sports Bra is also on my Christmas list, along with the Britney and Sakura Sports Skirts, and the rest of their line of sports bras. INKnBURN if you’re reading this and ever need to see how your clothes hold up on the trails, you know where to find me…
Not sure what workout to do today? Let your undies decide for you. I actually think the Day of the Week Rundies from Oiselle are kind of cute. Although I don’t know if I would be able to make it through the day without laughing like a maniac knowing that “Fartlek” is written across my bum.